"Business is business." Not getting a non-refundable deposit and not getting paid because of the weather is not business.
I also think that because it's in the contract, clients won't even ask to cancel unless it's an absolute emergency. Then it's up to my discretion, if I want to return the deposit or not. Generally it's no, but I will allow them to hold the deposit towards another event or date. It has happened so seldomly to me, maybe 3 times in the last 10 years, that the 50% deposit works great.
I also don't allow clients to change what's on the contract (with the exception of the # of TC). Sometime's they run out of money at the end of planning an event and want to start canceling pieces. I won't let them. They always come up with the money somewhere.
Hope I don't sound hard. I choose my words in these conversations very carefully. I am always professional. Sometimes it's a tough call.
"REFUND POLICY: The first 200 C-shells of your initial payment is a non-refundable retainer fee which reserves your event's date and time on our calendar and guarantees our company will be available to decorate for your event. The remainder of your initial payment and any other payments you make between now and your event date, is refundable on a percentage scale based upon the date of written notification of cancellation. The percentage scale is as follows: 6 months or more before your event.......100%, 3-6 months before your event....50%, 1-3 months before your event...25%, and Less than 1 month before your event...0%."
"Balloons are, by nature, temporary items: Although B'LOONS BROS. uses only the finest quality balloons, some balloons will occasionally deflate sooner than expected and will also be adversely affected by wind, rain, rough handling, sunlight and other uncontrollable factors."
"Due to the unexpected circumstances that can occur with any event, we reserve the right to make changes only in the best interest of our clients. If the facility is not available or set up at the promised time, decor may be left in the nearest acceptable location. Additional time required (if available) to complete the job will be billed at 25 C-shells/hour."
Because of this warning, we DO lose an outdoor job once in awhile, but we have always gained the respect of our client(s),they ALWAYS thank us for our honesty, and have all come back to us at later dates for even bigger and better INDOOR jobs.
Personally, we would rather avoid, at almost any cost, doing outdoor decorating jobs because we know it is very difficult to show our product at its best. However, if our client is well aware of the risks he is taking, and still wants us to do the job......far be it from us to turn down his $$$$ <giggle>. We always include the weather clause as well as the "no guarantee out-of-doors" clause on all our contracts.
Note: Balloon HQ and the Guide to Balloons and Ballooning have included the following section to provide examples. We can not verify the legalities of any of the documents shown. These are ideas that have been used by various balloon artists. You will most likely want to customize them for your own purposes, with the aid of an attorney.
The Raincheck is good for the same performance or equivalent event within one year, that can be worked into the performers schedule. The Raincheck cannot be used unless the performer is available.
_______________ company [Agent] _______________ Address _______________ City _______________ Telephone Type of Entertainment: ________________ Date of Performance: __________________ Time: _______________ Length of Performance : _______________ Location: _____________________________ Telephone: ___________________________ Contact: ______________________________ Fee due to performer: $_____________ (X hours at $X per hour) Other information: _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Terms This contract is non-cancelable by any of the parties hereto. performer agrees to entertain at function as detailed above, and agrees to exercise reasonable, professional, judgment in the conduct and content of his/her performance. Performer assumes all responsibility for their actions. _________ company [agent] assumes no responsibility for the actions of the client or their gusts. Performer agrees to this engagement as an independent entity and may not hold _________ company [agent] liable for any acts, losses or damages. Additionally, _________ company [agent] cannot be held liable for injury sustained in relation to this engagement. It is understood by all parties involved that _________ company [agent] is the sole booking organization for the performer for all of its engagements with this specific purchaser and shall be entitled to a commission for any future engagements resultant from this function. Performer must distribute promotional material provided by _________ company [agent]. Failure to do so will result in the forfeiture of any future engagements. Should _________ company [agent] learn that the entertainer has distributed his/her own materials, said performer will not be entitled to the total fee due. Failure to comply with the terms, conditions, and specifics of this agreement shall result in the forfeiture of all moneys owed to the performer and may entitle _________ company [agent] to damages. Signature below constitutes agreement to the above. _____________________________ ___________________________ agent performerClient Contract
Business Contract [underlined] _______________ Your company [agent] _______________ Address _______________ City _______________ Phone Date of Performance: ____________________ Time: _________________ Length of performance: __________________ Location: _______________________________ Type of function: ________________________ Fee: ___________________ Service requested by (or contact point): ___________________ Entertainer: ___________________ [by name..."Go-Go the Clown"] Type of entertainment: ______________ [be specific, balloons, magic, face painting, etc.] Other considerations: _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Terms This contract is non-cancelable by any of the parties hereto. performer agrees to provide entertainer at functions, as detailed above. Entertainer is retained as an independent contractor, therefore, _________ company [agent] cannot be held liable for damages sustained in relation to this engagement. *A non-refundable deposit is required prior to performance date. This deposit shall be forfeited should the event be canceled or postponed due to weather conditions or other circumstances. The fee indicated herein shall not be decreased, under any circumstances whatsoever, including decreasing the length of the performance. Total payment for services must be received on date of performance. _________________________ ________________________ Agent Name...contact point Authorized Agent of Function (If due to time constraints, a deposit is not feasible and the entertainment be canceled, a fee of one third of the total fee listed above is due.) [The above contract can be faxed to and from Authorized agent of function.]Information Sheet
PRIVATE PARTY INFORMATION SHEET Thank you for choosing ****Your Name**** The Balloon Artist to entertain at your private party. Your entertainment package includes up to 1 hour of balloon entertainment by ****Your Name**** The Balloon Artist, complete with top hat and bow tie, and all of the balloons he uses. Please examine the following information for accuracy and return a signed copy, with your non-refundable deposit, to the address below. Your party time and date will not be reserved until this information sheet and the non-refundable deposit are received at the ****Your Company****. Full payment must be made immediately after the show. Make checks payable to ****Your Company****. CUSTOMER Name: [Customer Name] Address: [Customer Address] Home Phone: [Customer H Phone] Work Phone: [Customer W Phone] PARTY LOCATION Location: [Location Name] Address: [Location Address] Phone: [Location Phone] Time & Date: [Time & Date] Directions: [Directions] PRICES Package Travel Total Price Deposit Due $ $ $ $[Deposit] [Customer Name] Party responsible for paymentLiability Release
****Your Company**** Liability Terms You the customer, by signing the release portion of this document, give your permission for ****Your Company*** /***Your Name**** to work and entertain under the following conditions. You agree to accept all responsibility for all personal and real property, and persons at the event's location. Upon signing this release you are releasing ****Your Name**** and ****Your Company**** from all liability and responsibility for property, persons, and pets at the event's location, before, during and after the event. As a result of signing this release, ****Your Company**** and ****Your Name**** are free of any liability, and you the signing person will accept full liability and responsibility for persons and property at the location. Release Agreement for: ____________________________ Event, at ____________________________ Location, for ____________________________ Date/time I agree to the terms listed and accept the terms of liability. I accept full responsibility and liability for all property and persons at this location and release ****Your Name**** and ****Your Company**** from all responsibility and liability. I under stand that there are dangers to children and pets if balloons or parts of balloons are swallowed. Customer(Print Name)_____________________________________ Signature________________________________________________ Date ______________________ Phone_______________________ Address_________________________________________________ City, State ______________________________ Zip__________Deco and Twister Contract
INDEPENDENT ENTERTAINER/CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT This agreement is hereby entered into by and between ( name, address, and phone number of individual negotiating contract) representing (name, address, and phone number of business for whom service is to be provided) hereinafter referred to as _____________________, and ****Your Full Name*****, an independent entertainer and contractor, representing ****Your Company****, Your Company Address, Phone number (XXX) XXX-XXXX, hereinafter referred to as ****Your Name****. Wherein ________________ desires (A broad statement of the products and services requested, the time, date, and location where products and services are to be delivered) and has requested that ****YOUR NAME**** provide such entertainment and/or decorating service, ****YOUR NAME**** hereby agrees to provide the following: (A complete item by item description of products and services agreed upon). ________________ agrees to provide ( detailed list of all items to be provided by client such as parking, meals, ladders, lift, extension cords, and etc.) The fee agreed upon between ________________ and ****YOUR NAME**** in exchange for said entertainment and/or decorating service is ($______), to be paid to ****YOUR NAME**** as follows: a deposit of ($______), which is non-refundable unless the contract is canceled more than 30 days prior to the date the entertainment and/or decorating service covered by this agreement is to be provided, is to be paid to ****YOUR NAME**** upon acceptance of this agreement. The balance of ($ ___________) is to be paid to ****YOUR NAME**** no later than _____________________ unless a later date is agreed upon in writing prior to the date of the entertainment and/or decorating service. If said balance is not paid to ****YOUR NAME**** as herein required, _______________ agrees to pay to ****YOUR NAME**** an administrative charge of ten percent (10%) of said balance and to pay all reasonable costs including court costs and attorney's fees incurred by ****YOUR NAME**** in the collection thereof. It is agreed and understood between the parties that any and all persons providing entertainment and/or decorating service as provided herein are independent contractors, represented by ****YOUR NAME****, and that no employer/employee relationship exists between such persons and _________________*. ****YOUR NAME****, for and in consideration of the mutual covenants herein contained, hereby agrees to indemnify, save, and hold harmless __________________ and the legal and beneficial owner(s) of the real property and improvements commonly referred to as ___________________________, and their respective partners, affiliates, agents, related entities, attorneys, officers, directors, shareholders, employees, successors, and assigns, from and against any and all claims, demands, causes of actions, suits, proceedings, costs, expenses, and damages arising out of or relating to this agreement or the services to be performed pursuant hereto. _______________________ ___________________________ Signed: Date: _______________________ ___________________________ Signed: Date:13 Point Contract
****Your Name****, Inc. Services Agreement This agreement is entered into this [today's date] by and between [Artist Name] for [Artists Stage Name], herein referred to as the "Artist" and [Signer For Buyer] for [Buyers Name], herein referred to as the "Purchaser", with the assistance of ****Agency Name if one is used**** for ****Your Name****, Inc., herein referred to as "Agency", for the following services. 1. Purchaser hereby engages the Artist, subject to the terms and conditions as follows: Event: [Event Name] Date: [Event Date(s)] Location: [Event Location] Time: (Detailed in Attachment No. 1) Cost: $ [Total Cost] Attachments: One 2. It is agreed that as full compensation for services provided by the Artist as above set forth, the Purchaser will pay to the Artist the sum of $ [Total Cost]. A $[deposit amount] non-refundable deposit will be issued with the signing of this contract. The balance of payment is to be made in full, on the day of the event, to the leader of the artist group in cash, company check, certified check, or money order. Any deviation from the specific terms of this paragraph by the Purchaser shall constitute a breach of this entire Agreement. 3. All outdoor performances must be conducted in a safe manner and there must be an indoor rain contingency plan. In the event of cancellation without such contingency, the Purchaser must pay the contract in full. 4. Purchaser is responsible for providing all permits, licenses and legal papers needed for any foreign events outside the United States, in a timely manner. Such documents must be provided to the Artist by the Purchaser no later than two weeks prior to the performance. Purchaser is liable for any costs and expenses related to said permits, licenses and papers. Any delay or non-compliance to this paragraph will be considered a breach on the part of the Purchaser. 5. The recording, reproduction, filming or transmission of the Artist's performances are prohibited without the written consent of the Artist. The Purchaser shall be responsible for the strict enforcement of this paragraph. 6. The Purchaser will make available two complimentary tickets per Artist member for any public events. 7. The Artist agrees that the Purchaser shall have the right to use the Artist's name, approved pictures, and other likenesses in connection with the advertising and publicizing of the engagement hereunder, but such use shall not be as an endorsement of any product or service, or for the sale of any merchandise, except with the Artist's written permission. It is also agreed that all advertising, promotion, etc. referring to the Artist will refer to him as [Artists Stage Name]. 8. The Agency is acknowledged to have performed its obligations upon the commencement of this engagement. The Agency shall not be liable for any breach, default, or failure to perform by either the Purchaser or the Artist. No changes in this Agreement affecting the Agency's commission of its payment shall be made without the written consent of the Agency. 9. Purchaser agrees to be responsible for the actions of the Purchaser's employees and patrons, and to reimburse the Artist for any damages suffered due to the actions of the Purchaser's employees or patrons, including harm to Artist's equipment while such equipment is at the place of the performance. 10. The Purchaser agrees that the services as outlined in Attachment #1 shall not be canceled or modified, except by mutual, written consent of both the Purchaser and the Artist. The attempt by one party to cancel this Agreement without the permission of the other party shall be a breach of this Agreement. 11. Should either party to this Agreement fail to carry out their obligations under the terms of this Agreement, the other party may bring legal proceedings to enforce the terms of this Agreement. Interest shall be payable to the non- breaching party on the amount of damages suffered, calculation at the rate of 12% per year (or the maximum legal rate, if such rate is lower that 12% per year). Such interest shall begin to accrue as of the date of discovery or notice of the breach of this Agreement by the non-breaching party. Should either party find it necessary to commence legal action in the case of breach, or to otherwise enforce the terms of this Agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to an award of court costs, expenses and attorney's fees incurred in such legal action, in addition to any damages or other legal relief awarded. The parties agree that venue for any legal action by either party shall be in ****Your**** County, ****STATE****. Both the Seller and the Purchaser agree to be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of ****Your**** County, ****STATE**** for purposes of any legal action. 12. This Agreement cannot be assigned or transferred without the written consent of both parties. The waiver of any breach of this Agreement shall not be deemed to be a continuing waiver. This Agreement contains the complete agreement between the parties. No modification, or change to this Agreement shall be valid unless made in writing, dated,, and signed by both parties, The validity, interpretation and enforcement of this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State Of ****????****, regardless of the place of performance by the Artist. The terms Artist and Purchaser as used in this Agreement shall include and apply to the singular and the plural, and to all genders. 13. The person signing this Agreement on behalf of [Buyers Name] hereby warrants and guarantees that he or she has the authority to sign this Agreement and bind [Buyers Name] to the terms of this Agreement, whether [Buyers Name] is an individual, partnership, corporation or some other entity. All copies of this Agreement must be signed and returned to ****YOUR COMPANY**** with the above mentioned deposit, within 14 calendar days of [today's date]. One counter signed copy will be returned to [Buyers Name] at the address below. This contract must be returned by the Purchaser to the Agent. One countersigned copy will be returned to the Purchaser's address below. Accepted and Agreed to by: _________________________ _________________________ [Artist Name] for [Signer For Buyer] for [Artists Stage Name] [Buyers Name] [Artists Address] [Buyers Address] ************************************************************** Attachment No. 1 Services are to include; [Hours of Roving Per Day] Hours of roving entertainment per day by [Artists Stage Name]. [No. of Stage Shows] Stage performance(s) by [Artists Stage Name]. All supplies used by [Artists Stage Name]. Times of performances will be as follows:
****YOUR COMPANY**** SERVICE CONTRACT ****Your Company**** contractually agrees to have _____ Entertainers at ____________________________ on ________________ from _________ to __________ to entertain children and/or adults attending _______________________________________________. In exchange, __________________________________ agrees to pay ****Your Company**** $_______ per hour (_____ total hours, ______ total amount) for the above time, and $______ per each 15 minute section exceeding the above time, if desired upon the end of the period. In the event of a cancellation, ________________________ agrees to notify ****Your Company**** at least 72 hours in advance or forfeit the deposit previously paid or agreed upon ($______). **Package includes: Strolling creation of balloon animals and crazy balloon hats, all balloon supplies, travel expenses, and fun costumes ** Make check payable to: ****Your Company**** ________________________________________ _________________ Client Date ________________________________________ _________________ Date Please sign above and mail to: ****Your Company**** Address of your company
I've found that clients and I get along a LOT better when I'm careful to set forth in very great detail exactly what I'm selling, on paper, to the point of sending pictures of me in advance - otherwise, as I'm sure most of you have experienced, you can tell 'em till you're blue in the face what you look like and what you will do, and they'll still fixate on what they imagine rather than what you tell them. We added an "Education" clause to our Decorating Contract Orders We start out by letting clients know "latex and microfoil balloons pose no threat to humans, wildlife or the environment WHEN handled responsibly". We let them know that broken or uninflated balloons can cause harm to young child and should be disposed of immediately. Children under the age of 7 should be under constant adult supervision while playing with latex balloons. We also list the California mylar laws and let them know that our latex are 100 % biodegradeable -- but should not be released. They should be disposed of in a proper trash receptacle. And we cover the issue of what inhaling helium can do. I always require 50% of total price as a deposit. Even if all details are not ironed out like how many table centerpeices they will really be needing. If the event is farther than 6 months away and other than sitting down with the client and discussing a few ideas and showing them pictures of my work then I would require just a 50 C-shell deposit that way if the client does back out I haven't invested much time but I still get 50 C-shells out of it!! I also have in my agreement that there will not be any other balloons on the site that I am doing work on for their event or wedding that are not mine. I reserve the right to refuse the job and since it would be breaking the agreement on their part, that means that the retainer fee still will not be refunded. It seems that after you explain why to people, they understand and don't push the matter. CONTRACTS you need to have a signed contract and it should contain a cancellation clause. Also, I used to require a 50 C-shell deposit for brides to lock in our services for a specific date (on-site work) but I have just raised that to 100 C-shells. Most of my brides spend several times that for on-site jobs so I figured that the higher amount would make them take their end of it more seriously while still not scaring anyone away. However, a cancellation clause is still necessary. An option is a set percent as a deposit, such as 50%. We have asked for 20% or 100 C-shells when the contract is under 500 C-shells for the last five years, without any problems. Some brides will come up with 400 or $500 C-shells for their deposit or retainer. This must be non-refundable to make up for cancellation possibilities. When a customer books, they are guaranteed that they are on the calendar and that no one else can have their slot. That is worth cash, especially since we stop marketing that time slot. When a customer cancels (and we've seen a rash of break-ups before the wedding this year), we still have earned part of the profit for the marketing and sales work already done to get that contract. If deposit/retainer amounts are too small, they don't have much meaning for the client. A small deposit doesn't hurt if it's non-refundable. Our contract requires a 50% deposit for all jobs. We do a lot of weddings every year and have never had a bride balk at the amount of the deposit. Also, because we usually book so far in advance we will return the deposit if the contract is cancelled 6 months prior to the wedding, 50% of the deposit if it is cancelled between 3 and 6 months prior to the wedding and no deposit if it is cancelled less than 3 months before the wedding. When we put this contract together a year or so ago we consulted with the people on the list as well as our attorney. His told us at the time that in NEW JERSEY, and it may be different in other states, a service contract may be cancelled up until the time a service is performed with a full refund of any deposits. UNLESS, you can show that you have suffered monetary losses from the cancellation. I told him we were booked almost every weekend...he said the word almost proves that we may not have been booked that weekend. We have never been cancelled, but in the event that we do our clause is designed to show that the closer it gets to the event it is harder for us to book becasue our invoices show that we are more likely to fill the date 6 months before it, a little less 3-6 months before and we very seldom book 90 days or less before a wedding. I have our basic contract written in Word 6.0. if anyone is interested I would be happy to e mail a copy to you. E-mail Eric Swingler at Eswingler@aol.com if you are interested in a copy have your client sign, as part of your contract, that she/he is responsible for your props and products (centerpieces, heart frames, weights, whatever) that starts to "walk" before the party is over. She must to reimburse you the replacement value of the prop or linens. Otherwise sell the job in a way that it doesn't require you to return to pick anything up. We have it noted within our contract what needs to be returned to us and what the cost will be if it is not or if it is damaged. We give them three days to return the items. A signed charge slip is on file just in case we have problems. If the return isn't made by the second day, we give them a call to remind them. When they return the items, we check them for damage before disposing of the charge slip. I have learned, with certain clients, to increase the bill by 25 C-shells or more, and then include 'Discount for payment on day of event - 25 C-shells' on the contract. It's their option, they can take it or not. (I got tired of one client taking 6 or even 8 weeks to pay.) My requirements: Big non-refunded deposit if client defaults. Contract stating what "default" means. To me it means, cutting hours, cutting entertainers or cancelling the gig. Contract is to be signed by ALL PARTIES involved and copies are given to each person who signed so that there is no misunderstanding. The client can't come back and say, "Oh, my silent partner didn't know that you said such n' such amount of hours." Ask client up ahead if he is the sole decision maker or if these terms have to be approved by anyone else. If there are others, don't go forward without their names, numbers and addresses. Then require their signatures too. Ask for payment terms up front. If they say 30 days and you don't "do" 30 days, ask if they will honor your terms. If they say no, then you either do it their way or let the gig go. Depending on what you are willing to put up with. I hate 30 pay cycles and always try to get payment the day of the gig. But I usually give in if push comes to shove. I always inform my clients in my contract that my time is what they are paying for along with my skills. That if I were not working these hours for them, they would be filled by another client. Making it clear that once contract is signed, they are obligated to pay for those hours. Just as you pay for a slot in a daycare center whether your child attends or not, because you are using the space that could have been used by another. This always makes sense to them. spell everything out. If it's a last minute thing, still have a contract and make it a stipulation that the money is sent within 10 days. Malls are tough to break of the 30 day wait period. If you invoice them in advance, they will have the check the day of the show. An agent once explained to me that he had to be bonded and also have a big bank account to pay the acts right away because the clients took forever to pay. If you are going to be an agent, you have to expect things like this. CANCELLATION/CHANGE POLICY: Changes made less than 72-hours prior to your event are subject to an additional charge of not less than 25 C-shells nor more than 50 C-shells, PER CHANGE. Cancellations of individual items made less than 30 days prior to the event date may be subject to a 50% cancellation fee per item. The prices listed above and on the attached worksheet are guaranteed for 30 days from the consultation date shown below. If the initial payment is made after the 30 days, any new price increases will be added to the above totals." It is rather difficult sometimes not to accept last minute changes especially if you want to maintain good standing with your customer..and I guess it would all depend on the extent of work that is to be done and how high you value your customer's business. You certainly would not want to lose a customer over changes that you're capable of performing, so long as they are reasonable and your customer has given you ample time to do the changes. But I do recognize your dilemma in having to deal with last minute changes...it can be rather frustrating. You could specify in your contract (in BOLD lettering), that any changes or additions required by the customer after the date of __________ will be subject to a 10% penalty (or whatever % you feel is appropriate)..and make sure you verbally disclose this to them as well so they are aware of your policy. Or just specify in the contract that changes cannot be made after such and such date. The higher the penalty, the less likely you're going to have a customer making last minute changes. If you accept changes or additions to your contract, you should have the customer sign an additional form for the "Authorized Extras" or "Authorized Changes". Basically this is how it should read: Authorized Extras/Changes Project: ___________________ (name of project) Customer: ___________________ (customer name) Contractor: ___________________ (your company name) Contract Date: ________________ Contract #: ________ _____________ (customer) authorizes __________________(your company) and ________________ (your company) agrees to perform the following extra work/changes in addition to the work set out in the above-noted contract: ....Detailed description of Extras/Changes The agreed total price for the above work is $________ plus applicable taxes to be payable pursuant to the terms of the original contract dated ________. Dated on ____ Both parties to sign Besides being a busines owner, I am also a paralegal by trade. If you feel your contract isn't strong enough or is not covering everything you need it to cover, I do recommend having your attorney or legal representative review it so as to ensure that all important issues are covered. The written contract is about the only thing that will truly hold up in court if something goes wrong..so your contract should be worded properly and should cover all angles ...verbal agreements between 2 parties just don't cut it sometimes.... CONTRACTS When outdoor decorations go bad... As for should you refund /compensate the client, what did you discuss with your client? Did you prepare them for the "worse case senerio" and how you would handle it? Do you have a policy in place and do you have an understanding with your clients that as the decorator, you have the option to make changes when certain situations arise -- such as high temps, wind rain? If you don't want to refund the client the actual cash value, perhaps you could offer to hold a credit of some amount (whatever you feel is fair and adequate) for future orders. It's always an interesting to see how much or how little people put into a contract. Too much scares people off. However, too little leaves questions open about what will and won't be provided by each party, which defeats the purpose of having a contract in the first place. My contract takes the form of a page-and-a-half letter which confirms the following information as previously discussed by you with the client over the telephone: Payment arrangements, including deposit information, provision for cancellation, rain dates, etc. Description of the event (for example, "Joe Clyde's 4th birthday party", which also serves to confirm the spelling of the child's name); name of your contact; address and telephone number of your contact; party location; indoor or outdoors; day and date of party (include both to decrease the chance of an error); time you are to arrive; directions; parking arrangements; number of children; ages of children; length of show. My contract also includes a mention that since balloons are a choking hazard, they will not be given to children three years of age and younger. The contract is signed by me and has a place for the client to sign. I send two copies, one for the client to keep for their records and one to return (signed) to me in the self-addressed envelope I enclose for that purpose. how do you folks handle the topic of raindates? I used to assign raindates free of charge, now I incur a slight fee (nothing over 20 C-shells). This , of course, is in regard to those folks who book a raindate for a party when they first call and book you. In otherwords, it doesn't comeup once the first planned day has already been rained out, it comes up when the first day is being planned (I want the show on the 15th with a raindate at the same time slot for the next day). These clients are now locking up twice as much of your booking time and expecting to pay for only half of it, since the performance will only take place for half of the time they are wrapping up. I have had agents book me for outdoor events and add a 25 C-shell fee onto what he is paying me to reserve a rain date. if the situation is one where even the indoor contingency plan fails, I cut the client as much slack as I can. I'll work as hard as possible to accomodate them, *if* it fits in my schedule. There aren't many times that I'll consider booking a rain date in advance unless I'm being paid for it as well as the initial event date. In other words, if they want me to reserve two days for them, they pay for two days. I'll work in the rain if I have to. Now, I will discount rates sometimes if I'm getting enough hours out of it. In other words, someone booking two full days may not (really depends on the situation) pay as much as I'd get if two separate organizations booked two days, but I do make sure that I'm covered for my time. I have gotten complaints about that from a few people. they think that if I'm only working half the time I should only be paid for the time I'm working. I feel that I should be paid for the time that I can't be working for someone else. There are exceptions. If a company is going to book me for enough events a year and only their big summer picnic is outdoors, I'll consider scheduling a rain date because of the amount of work I'm getting from them anyway. Also, years ago when I was getting started and this was a part time thing, I scheduled rain dates because I bent over backwards to make people happy (and it wasn't my only source of income). Every so often, when someone calls that I worked for back then, I break some of my rules. I figure someone that's proven to be a long time loyal client that I've made a lot of money from and will continue to make money from deserves special treatment. You all know the lyrics "it never rains in California" but this past Spring El Nino brought more rain than we could handle. Up until that point, I never needed deposits for birthday parties but had always asked for deposits from commercial accounts. Because of the rainy weather, people cancelled dates and I lost thousands of dollars of income and had a challenge paying my bills. Now I charge a non-refundable booking fee to hold a date. Until I receive the fee, the date is open on my calendar. Clients pay me the balance in cash or by check after the event is over. If I haven't received the fee within a week, I call the client and remind them that the date is open until I receive the fee. Clients are happy with the arrangement and no one has cancelled. The clients feel that the booking fee works in their favor because they know I am going to be there. (I've never been late or cancelled a gig but they do feel more secure). I recently had three requests for the same Saturday and told the clients that as soon as I had their booking fee, the timeframe was reserved. One person brought it in cash to the Friday night street fair. I ended up doing all three events and made everyone happy. I also twist holiday themed balloons as Mrs. Santa Claus and am now booking November and December dates. To reserve a date, they send me the non-refendable booking fee now. If they need to change the date I will try to accomodate them but my schedule fills up very quickly. I was going to be twisting balloons in a pumpkin patch for most of the weekends in October. I sent the farmer a contract spelling everything out and requested a deposit that will be deducted from the first weekend's invoice. The contract spells out that they are obligated to pay me for a minimum of four hours each day even if the weather turns bad and is is cold and/or rainy or if they close down the venue. They agreed because I am turning down all other work on those dates. A local retail asssociation holds wonderful family events on holiday Saturdays. This past April, it rained on the Saturday before Easter. I set up in front of a store under their awning but I also brought a huge umbrella. I was there for four hours and only made 30 or 40 balloons for the brave souls who wanted to play. The association paid me my full fee because I fulfilled my contract. And they've asked me back again for Halloween to make spooky balloons. I use the Non Refundable Reservation Fees, In talking with the people I agree to send them a "SERVICE AGREEMENT", I do not call it a contract because it is an agreement between them and me. I provide a Service and they agree to pay for it. The Reservation Fee is for me booking and scheduling the time for their event in advance. They agree that it is Non Refundable because I may have turned down other work holding their date. I let them know when booking by phone that I will hold their date for TWO WEEKS and unless the Service Agreement is returned with their Reservation Fee, I will consider the booking canceled... I verbally verify the date, time, what they want done and their mailing address twice. Once when they give it to me and then a final check at the end of the conversation. I have found this normally eliminates the problems with Birthday Parties, which are my most often canceled events. Corporate customers especially like the agreement because it locks me in, and gives them something that they can turn into accounting so my Check for the event is ready at the conclusion of event; unless prior billing arrangements have been made. I offer 30 open accounts to corporate customers. The 30 day account stays open only as long as they honor invoices and pay them within 30 days of the scheduled event. I have a clause in the agreement that states than outdoor events must be conducted in a safe manner and that there must be an indoor rain contingency plan. And that if the event is canceled without such contingency the purchaser must pay the contract in full. The following is a copy of Mike Anderson's (DragonFire & Magic) agreement, included with Mike's permission: -- Dragonfire & Magic Ink / Circus Tent Productions 2129 Washington Avenue ~ Evansville IN 47714 Voice 812-476-5572 ~ Cell 449-5369 ~ Pager 812-433-6968 Services Agreement This agreement is entered into this _DAY_ day of __MONTH__ by and between Birdie the Clown, herein referred to as the "Artist" and ____CLIENT_____, herein referred to as the "Purchaser", with the assistance of Mike Anderson for Dragonfire & Magic, herein referred to as "Agency", for the following services. 1. Purchaser hereby engages the Artist, subject to the terms and conditions as follows: Event: 6-day festival promotion Location: Green River Road, Evansville IN 47715 Time: Tuesday. to Sat. 6-8 PM, Sunday 12-2 PM Cost: $xx.00 per hour for clown / magician Special: Actual amount of balloons used for week billed at $xx.00 Per gross Attachments: One 2. IT is agreed that as full compensation for services provided by the Artist as above set forth, the Purchaser will pay to the Artist the sum of $x00.00. A 300.00 Non Refundable Reservation Fee will be Issued with the signing of this contract. The balance of payment is to be made in full, on the last day of the event, to the leader of the Artist group in cash, personal / company check, or money order unless billing arrangements are in Attachment # 1. Any deviation from the specific terms of this paragraph by the Purchaser shall constitute a breach of this entire agreement. Balance of payment may be made by personal or company check to Dragonfire & Magic 14 days prior to the event if preferred by purchaser. 3. All outdoor performances must be conducted in a safe manner and there must be an indoor rain contingency plan, in the event of cancellation without such contingency, the Purchaser must pay the contract in full. 4. Purchaser is responsible for providing all permits, licenses and legal papers needed for any foreign events outside the United States in a timely manner. Such documents must be provided to the Agency by the Purchaser no later than 14 days prior to performance. Purchaser is liable for any costs or expenses related to said permits, licenses and papers. Any local parade permits or licenses or other legal documents must be provided to the Agency by the Purchaser no later than one week prior to the performance. Purchaser is liable for any costs and expenses related to said permits, licenses and papers. Any delay or noncompliance to this paragraph will be considered a breach on the part of the purchaser. 5. The recording, reproduction, filming or transmission of the Artist's performances are prohibited without the written consent of the Artist. The purchaser is granted full permission to shot photos for their personal use. If used for advertising, a fee must be paid to artist and modeling releases will be signed. 6. The Purchaser will make available two complimentary tickets per Artist member for any public events. Tickets are to be sent to Agency One week prior to performance. 7. The Artist agrees that the Purchaser shall have the right to use the Artist's name, approved pictures, other likenesses in connection with the advertising and publicizing of the engagement hereunder, but such use shall not be as an endorsement of any product or service, or for the sale of any merchandise, except with the Artist's written Permission. It is also agreed that all advertising, promotion, etc. referring to the Artist will refer to him/her as "Birdie the Clown". 8. Full Photo Rights ARE / ARE NOT granted for any photos taken during the above engagement. 9. The Agency is acknowledged to have performed its obligations upon the commencement of this engagement. The Agency shall not be liable for any breach, default, or failure to perform by either the Purchaser or Artist. No changes in this Agreement affecting the Agency's Commission or its payment shall be made without the written consent of the Agency. 10. Purchaser agrees to be responsible for the actions of the Purchaser's employees and patrons or guests, and to reimburse the Artist for any damages suffered due to the actions of the Purchaser's employees or patrons including harm to Artist's equipment while such equipment is at the place of the performance. 11. The Purchaser agrees that the services outlined in Attachment # 1 shall not be cancelled or modified, except by mutual, written consent of both the Purchaser and the Artist. The attempt by one party to cancel this Agreement without the permission of the other party shall be a breach of this agreement. 12. Should either party to this Agreement fail to carry out their obligations under the terms of this Agreement, the other party may bring legal proceedings to enforce the terms of this Agreement. Interest shall be payable to the non-breaching party on the amount of damages suffered, calculated at the rate of 24% per year. Such interest shall begin to accrue as of the date of discovery or notice of the breach of this Agreement by the non-breaching party. Should either party find it necessary to commence legal action in the case of breach, or to otherwise enforce the terms of this agreement, the prevailing party shall be entitled to an award of court costs, expenses and attorney's fees incurred in such legal action, in addition to any damages or legal relief awarded. The parties agree that venue for any legal action by either party shall be in Vanderburgh County, State of Indiana, for the purposes of any legal action. 13. This Agreement cannot be assigned or transferred. This Agreement contains the complete agreement between the parties. No modification, or change to this Agreement shall be valid unless made in writing, dated, and signed by both parties. The validity, interpretation and enforcement of this agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of Indiana, regardless of the place of performance by the Artist. The terms Artist and Purchaser as used in this Agreement shall include and apply to the singular and the plural, and to all genders. 14. The person signing this Agreement on behalf of xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, hereby warrants and guarantees that he or she had the authority to sign this Agreement and bind xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx to the terms of this Agreement, whether xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx is an individual, partnership, corporation or some other entity. One copy of this Agreement must be signed and returned to Dragonfire & Magic with the above mentioned Not Refundable Reservation Fee, within 5 calendar days of September 17, 1998. One countersigned copy will be returned to Buyer at the address below: ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ATTACHMENT # 1 Dragonfire & Magic will provide one clown, blowing animal balloons for approximately 100-125 guests for Advertising promotion at the above address. If Buyer wishes clown will also do walk around magic during part of the engagement. Percentages of balloons to magic to be worked out during performance by store management on a day to day basis. Please provide directions to your business on a separate paper when Returning Non Refundable Reservation Fee and signed Service Agreement. A signed contract is necessary before start of performance, this is Required by our Insurance Company even on events contracted the date of performance where entertainer is paid directly by customer. We provide a 2 Million-Dollar liability policy on all of our Artists. If you need a copy of certificate of insurance please allow two weeks for our Insurance Agent to furnish one to your organization. -- > Do you ask for deposits and if you do: > What happens if they are calling the week before I ask for a credit card number. I dont' usually use credit cards for shows since I want the contract back in the mail anyway and getting the check is more of a sure thing than a credit card. (It's too easy to refuse payment on an over the phone credit charge.) Before I took credit cards, I used to insist that I got cash at the door before I walked in. This has a number of flaws. It does guarantee that if you do the show you'll get paid, but there's no guarantee they won't send you away when you get there (only happened to me once, but that was once too often). I also believe when working a party that you should be "on" the moment you arrive at the door. If you have to stop and ask for money while there's a room full of kids screaming and waiting for you, it ruins the moment. It's true that only the youngest kids won't be aware that you're paid to be there, but exchangign money in front of all the guests just doesn't seem right. > What happens if someone booked 2 weeks ago and the deposit never came so the > day before you call only to findout that they decided that since they never > sent the deposit, they didn't book the show. I said I wasn't consistent. This is where I'm sloppiest. I try to stay on top of things, but I often don't notice that a retainer hasn't arrived until a few days before the event. First, if someone else calls and asks for that time, I inform them that I have tentative booking and that I'll get back to them later. Then I call the person that I'm waiting to get a check from and get an answer right then and there. If I can, I get a credit card number from them at that point to solidify things. If they're not sure they want you, you can usually get that out of them when you say you need to book that time slot. If that doesn't happen, when I notice that I haven't received payment, I call them then. If they cancel, it hasn't hurt me because I didn't have any other calls for that same time and I haven't made a wasted trip out to their house. That one time that I was promised cash at the door and they weren't home, I was fuming. They left a message with a neighbor that they decided to cancel the party. I do not require a deposit as I feel I'm dealing with business people and should be able to have some trust in them. My confirmation letter does state a minimum time for any cancellations. I request at least 30 days notice. I also state in the letter "For all outdoor performances there must be an indoor bad weather contingency plan. In the event of cancellation due to bad weather without such contingency, the Purchaser must pay the contract in full". In 25 years of performing I have always been paid when due and have never had a cancellations where I was not paid. I do not require a deposit as I feel I'm dealing with business people and should be able to have some trust in them. businesses are the ones most likely to give me problems. It has most often been my business customers who are slow to pay (if they pay at all), bounce checks, make last minute changes or outright cancellations, etc... THAT is why I don't trust businesses. Usually, as soon as I realize I'm talking to a business, I either turn it down, or refer it to one of the more desperate performers in town. I don't need the headaches. I give them that trust if I've worked with them before. In fact, if I've worked with them and they request it, I'll give 30 day terms and take the money later since, as you indicate, standard business practices are good to conform to. However, I have had problems with small businesses not paying on time. Actually I've had problems with really huge businesses not paying on time. Once I know them, I'm not as concerned. > "For all outdoor performances there must be an > indoor bad weather contingency plan. In the event of cancellation due to bad > weather without such contingency, the Purchaser must pay the contract in > full". I actually say the same thing. When I said it wouldn't be so bad to offer a credit toward rescheduling, what I had in mind was the situation we had here a week ago where some indoor locations ended up being outdoors. that wasn't simply bad weather. That was a state of emergency. In fact, in some areas, I believe it still is designated a state of emergency. I still have a power line lying on the ground in my back yard. While I want to be paid, I will make an exception and allow for the worst possible situation to arise. I just offer that as a courtesy since I'd hate to be the one stuck with a bill like that. if it looks like they're filming "Twister 2" in your town, I agree you have to be flexible. The way I tell 'em is "If a weather condition makes it impossible for us or your guests to travel (as in the case of a major blizzard), you owe us nothing and we will refund any deposit received. If weather merely makes your event unattractive (as in the case of a rained-out picnic) you will owe us half the contract rate. Any performance on a subsequent rain date (if we have the time available to offer you) would be at the full contract price. I usually take a deposit. Luckily I have had few cancellations. However, those who cancel due to some sort of family tragedy or other unfortunate event get their deposits returned with a sympathetic note. I feel this is the right thing to do. By chance it is also good business. These people often become life long customers for subsequent events and are quick to recommend me to their friends. I tell people that I need the deposit within a week. I have never had someone not mail me the deposit in a timely fasion. I also have not had one cancellation since I started using deposits (about one year). Records - I keep all my job sheets and completed contracts on a clipboard in date order - and when I send out a contract I put on the clipboard a sheet with the client's name and contract-due date - that's an automatic "tickler" for a followup if the deposit's not here by then. CONTRACTS Sometimes you get to an event you booked, only to find that there are other twisters working your crowd. We have had that happen to us several times. Because of this, we no longer twist at festivals or other events unless we are either paid by the promoters or, given a written exclusive that we write. It includes a clause that states that the promoter will immediately expel or close down ANY other person/persons giving away (and in most cases, selling) balloons or facepainting. This includes "guests" who are just "entertaining" the crowd, and Church Groups promoting such events as Vacation Bible School. We also include a statement that says we will be handsomely compensated not only for ALL of our actual expenses including fees, lodging, food, travel, etc., but ALSO for an additional amount which we anticipate we would have earned at another event instead of theirs. In my neck of the woods, (Southern California) I have found that a minimal deposit ($25.00) per event works unless it's a major corporate event. My partner/wife Kelley and I do this for any event under the cost of $500.00. Then we have a 50% deposit. We didn't take deposits until we recieved a number of calls from bogus events i.e. showing up at an address that turned out to be a parking lot, or abondoned gas station. We have always used a signed confirmation with details about the event anyway, now they just add the deposit along with a signature. If it is a client that we have used in the past, we waive this deposit. My first suggestion is to put on the contract that you send out that it will be invalid if not returned by a certain date. That doesn't always work. If they decide later they want you, you end up sending another contract. But often it gets the message out that you can't wait forever, and if another booking comes along after the end date of teh contract, you can take it. Technically, a deposit is returnable. Refer to it as a retainer. Actually, to be incredibly clear, I say "non-refundable retainer." They can still refuse those terms, but the language you use can make a difference if they accept and there's a dispute later. If they say that they need the deposit to be refundable, I'd first try Bruce's suggestion. I say that in my contract that if there is a cancellation due to weather or other unexpected circumstances (school closing, roof blows off the building ...) they can use the retainer toward another event within a year from the scheduled date, provided it works with my schedule. I have a contract in front of me right now for a job in Rochester, NY that describes terms for working in Northern Ireland. A lot of places just have a standard contract and need all contractors to agree to the same terms. be prepared to be treated the same as the guy fixing the roof. They may be unrelated jobs, but you're both contractors and some places don't see the difference. I do not have deposits, I have Non Refundable Event Reservation Fees, if something unavoidable happens, tornado, flood, or other un predictable cancellation they can use the Reservation Fee to book their next event IF the date and time is compatible with my schedule It was not clear from your message how you handle your contracts. It has always been our policy to send two copies of the contract unsigned, along with a S.A.S.E. Our cover letter tells the potential employer to look over the contracts, sign both of them and return them both to us in the envelope provided. After we review the contract, we will sign both and then return one to the employer. If you sign first, the other party can make changes without your consent. Then it is your word against a contract signed by you. Guess who will lose! we have a three copy contract form that we get reproduced at our local Staples. These are the forms that are white on the 1st page, yellow on second and pink on third. We fill in the blanks of the contract on an electric typewriter and sign them all. The pink copy goes in our file, the white and yellow copies go to the client and they sign and return white with deposit and keep the yellow for their records. Until deposit and signed original are back to us, the pink stays filed in order of date and we can easily see what contracts are still out there and what is firm with $ in hand. THE CONTRACT APPLIES TO YOU TOO! I got a call Friday morning from a mother who had booked a clown/balloon twister for her child's birthday that Saturday. She wanted to know if I could come to the party. The other performer couldn't make it and had told the woman he was "overbooked." I get this type of call fairly often. Now, I've been doing this for more than a decade. I am busy and I consider myself successful, but I do not grasp the concept of "overbooked". I suspect that when a performer tells a client he or she is overbooked, what he is really saying is "I found a higher paying gig for that time slot." I think that hurts our business and I see no excuse for it. If you don't make enough money on a birthday show, start charging more. But don't ruin a five-year-old's party just because you can make more by dumping the kid to work at Conglomo's company picnic. This is a big pet peeve of mine. We have two different clowns in our area that are notorious for doing this. Once I had a school call. The clown they booked for a show called and cancelled that day's show by leaving a message on their answering machine the night before. One time a grandmother called, her granddaughter had went to school crying because the clown canceled for that afternoon. Of course I did the show. People like this give us all a bad name. There is no excuse for this. Both of these people knew other clowns. If an emergency came up, they could have found someone to fill in for them.What To Do If You Have To Cancel
Even if someone or their employee has a last minute problem, I think they still owe it to the customer and the sake of our profession to find someone else to fill in. After all they probably have better resources than the person they dumped. Further that is just plain good manners to say nothing for professionalism. When a clown or another performer calls in sick I do everything I can to "cover" the job. Within my company I always have a floater that is not scheduled that day for this very reason. I also have a very friendly relationship with other entertainment agencies in the area. We are very helpful in these situations, although rare, and are always willing to help one another. If you make friends with your competitors it makes these situations a lot easier to deal with. Good luck all! Remember, the $$$ is secondary. Don't disappoint the kids. If you have to give away a show to another company you will keep the customer happy, your competitor and the children. For myself, if I am unable to make a booking (which has only happened 3 times in my career due to extreme illness the day of) I either find a suitable replacement, or if I am unable to do that, I return their deposit and do a booking for them at another time for no charge at all. It is my way of showing them good faith and that I do care very much and want to make up to them any disappointment they had due to my not being able to be there. This has really worked out extremely well for me and those few clients that I had to do that with ended up singing my praises for being a professional of integrity, rather than someone who just blew them off.What To Do If It Rains
Also, for those events where snow is an issue, I do make sure to go unless they cancel. So far I've never canceled on anyone. (I have the line on my contract that says in case of illness or other detention I'll do my best to find a replacement for myself, but so far I haven't done that.).
CONTRACTS In this state (AZ), if you call it a deposit, it is refundable. If you wish it to be a non-refundable "deposit," you must call it a "retainer." I don't know about other states... I believe the contract should be written for your own needs. For example. I call mine agreements with the customers. I indicated what services I am providing, the percentage I want as a deposit. The deposit is to secure the date and time for that day and also to order their supplies. I also charge for a waiting period. For ex: A customer gives me 50% deposit, the remaining balance should be given anytime prior the event or the day of the event. If the customers choose to pay the balance on the date of the event they have to make sure someone is there to give me the balance prior to the job being finished. If the decor job is complete and I have to wait for the customer in order to receive the balance I charge them for that time. Also indicate, cancellation what period of time you are willing to give for cancellation. If you go into the Balloon headquarters they have alot of important infor that may help you. I purchased Business Law Partner on CD Rom for my computer and build my own custom contracts for every job. I just use the general contract, products, and modify it. You pick what state the laws will be in effect for. I have added my own "exclusive balloons" clause due to the fact that I brought in a balloon bride and groom to a wedding and found the whole place decorated with someone else's balloons! Never again will that happen to me. The clause includes a place for the person to initial that they will be paying me a $100 additional fee if there are any balloons besides mine at that particular event. So far no one has ever complained and I point it out specifically every time so they can't say they didn't see it. The deposit is covered with this phrase "Non-Refundable Booking Fee". It counts toward the final total balance, but they lose it if they cancel on us. We tell them that we only do1 wedding a day and that fee covers the booking of that particular date just for them. CONTRACTS QBN tape #5, The Business Side of Balloons, tells you the five things you should have in your contract: 1. Description of Work (be specific) 2. Payment terms and conditions 3. Strike down arrangements (charge if you have to do it) 4. Bad weather policy (for outdoor events) Design change fees 5. Ownership of materials and what they are responsible should they become lost or damaged during the event. ALWAYS GET AND PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!!!! My contracts cover me pretty well to the point that people make arrangements with me in advance for the pickup of my poles, bases and frames. It insures that they won't be charged and I don't lose anything. How do you do you cover yourself when you're half done with a job and for some reason you realize that it can't be completed? Our contract states that we cannot be held liable for actions by others, or weather conditions beyond your control. In such a case you retain the right to abort the project at any time should you believe that to continue may damage the reputation of the client and/or your company. Compensation must be fairly calculated and based upon the amount of work completed and financial loss incured prior to the decision to abort; and subject to auditing by a mutually agreeable arbitrator in the event the client disputes the compensation claim. As a rule we request a reasonable deposit at the TIME OF PLACING ORDER This is the client's firm commitment to the order. Make it quite clear that PAYMENT IN FULL is required PRIOR to the date of the event. (everyone has a credit card). We say the job remains an ESTIMATE ONLY until a deposit is paid. The materials will not even be packed until the job is classified as an order! When large companies ask us for 30 day accounts, we say that our small business is not partial to financing BIG business. ALL large corporations have the means to pay at a moments notice if necessary. And do you need work so bad that you are prepared to wait 4,6 or 8 weeks to get paid? CONTRACTS I recently worked at a street fair Because the fair was organized to raise money, they could not pay me outright. Therefore I asked for and got a contract that specifically prohibited any other clowns, twisters or magicians at the fair. Also the participating businesses were prohibited from hiring any entertainment of that sort. That way I could work for tips and guarantee my pay. I also know a balloon artist who includes a clause that, if she finds any other balloons in the area where she is contracted to decorate/twist, she can leave and still get paid because she does good work and does not want to have shabby work mistaken for hers. Good business sense. We are in the business of smiles but we all have an investment to protect at times. You may consider placing a clause in your contract that the business owner is responsible for ALL permits & permissions associated with each job. I can also say that you are just one step ahead of the game now (and for your experience; so are we all) and you might just want to look into all the laws that pertain to the types of things you offer, and create a little pamphlet for your customers so that they do not unknowingly violate the law when using balloon decor and then know where to get permits & where you get them, etc. You can then also promote yourself as being a professional who is familiar with all things that affect your clients, as it relates to your services. Outdoor balloon decor job...... don't forget the most critical thing of all. Write a CANCELATION / INCLEMENT WEATHER CLAUSE in your contract with your client. Don't let a rained out concert leave you with a pile of stock and equipment purchased, and no money from the customer. Unusually high wind on the day must give you the option to alter the decor design and content if deemed necessary by your installation crew. Contingency plans: What will happen if it rains? If there's a rain date, who will contact you to reschedule? Can the balloon decor can be brought indoors? Because inflation is likely to occur on site on the same day, you can be somewhat flexible in what is to be created with the materials at hand. Do they want you to return and primp it each day? Who's going to remove it?