Name of company
GB 880 3846 03
We pride ourselves on providing a good service, and always aim to spend as much time as we can with clients, delegates and others we work with, to understand their needs - and try to work together to develop events which are worthwhile and rewarding for everyone involved. This is central to our approach.
Being based in Scotland, we follow the laws and etiquette of business here. In particular, considering personal data protection, we take the tenets of the Data Protection Act very seriously, and will seek from clients and delegates only such information as necessary for us to carry out our work, and undertake to use it only for the purposes for which it was given to us. We never sell or trade information in the form of contact lists. All information we may know about you will be held securely, and our processes are designed in such a way that it should never appear in public, without your permission. You should consider this when you are supplying information to us, for example if you are registering colleagues at one of our events, or if a registration form gives you the option of including details on a contact list for wider distribution, or if you register using your home address. More information about this can be found at the website of the information commissioner: www.ico.org.uk
When working on behalf of a client, we consider that our engagement begins with the agreement, and signing of the project brief with an authorised representative of the client organisation. A particular aspect of this brief which is very important to us is having a nominated contact within the organisation, who is authorised to make (or report to us) decisions, amend the project brief, supply information we need, and generally act as a point of contact with the client organisation's management. We always reserve the right to take instruction only from the contact nominated on the project brief, even although they may not occupy a senior position within the client organisation. We would always prefer that the contact does not change throughout the duration of the project, although we realise that can sometimes be unavoidable. If the client elects to change its nominated contact, or alter the management structure of the team involved with the event, AE reserves the right to charge a management fee to cover the costs of extra meetings to review the implications for progressing the event. Progress reports and queries from us will be directed through the nominated contact, although we can arrange to copy documents around a management group or other stakeholders in the event, so that they are aware of any ongoing issues and decisions that need to be taken.
If a client decides to cancel a project before it has been completed, then AE will attempt to stop as many of its activities and those of its suppliers as possible, to avoid wasted expenditure by the client. In such circumstances however, it is likely that deposits paid will be forfeited, and AE or its suppliers may insist on further or full payment to cover costs already incurred.
If due to unforeseen circumstances, a supplier is unable to fulfil their planned role in the event, AE undertakes to make every effort to ensure a substitute as close to the original specification as possible. Clients should note that AE will not be held responsible for a financial loss due to circumstances beyond its control. During the planning phase AE will draw clients' attention to the consideration of the unforeseen events that might mar an event. In particular, AE considers the risk assessment process an important part of developing the project brief, especially in high profile events and Public Relations Projects. AE will always discuss risk with clients, and try to offer sound advice based on experience, but it is ultimately a decision of the client whether or not to take out an insurance policy to cover identified risks.
We will refund payments made by delegates cancelling more that 14 days before an event (unless that project has other payment terms specified on the booking site or registration form.) We will not make any charge to arrange a refund, but reserve the right to deduct any third-party costs incurred (for example, associated with making international currency transfers).
Unless specified differently for a particular event, any delegate registration fees are non-refundable from 14 days before the start of an event, because after this time we will be committed to paying for venues and other inputs. However, we will usually be happy to allow for the substitution of another individual to take up a cancelled place.
AE will draw up a mutually agreed schedule of payments with sponsors or clients it is working with, its exact form depending on the nature and scale of the event, and the anticipated income and expenditure cash flows. This is part of the project brief, which can also contain a detailed estimate of anticipated costs. We undertake to inform you (and will await instruction), should circumstances change so that this estimate is significantly altered. If the client has a formal tendering process, then we are happy to provide a tender in whatever form is preferred, but reserve the right to be able to use our own project management protocols; if necessary, also reporting using protocols preferred by the client, although such requirements must be drawn to the attention of AE at the outset. Any extra items requested by the client after the project brief has been agreed (for example, the production and mailing of extra copies of conference proceedings) will generally be charged according to AE's scale of standard fees. If the client decides to cancel part of the project brief, AE will endevour to make as much reimbursement to the client as possible, notwithstanding any non-refundable items already paid for.
All sums mentioned are in Pounds Sterling (£ or GBP), and any conversions shown in the public domain will only be for guidance and will not be definitive. Payment from customers or delegates not based in the UK can be accepted via credit or debit card, or by an overseas draft, drawn in Sterling. Almost all items invoiced by AE will be liable to UK Value Added Tax (VAT - similar to the "sales tax" found in some other countries). Our VAT registration number is GB 880 3846 03. This is currently charged at 20%, and normally prices for delagates quoted on the website or in advertisements will be VAT inclusive, and payment receipts will show a VAT analysis, and our VAT number, so that they may claim back the tax if appropriate. A few items are liable to the lower rate or are zero-rated, but this is unlikely to be a significant consideration for our clients; however visitors from outside the EU should note that when purchasing some goods in Scotland, it may be possible to avoid payment of VAT, and most retailers will be happy to advise customers about this.
Given that most contracts involve a long planning phase, the payment schedule will generally consist of a deposit and staged payments as our work progresses, with a final invoice after our work is finished. We expect clients to maintain the agreed payment schedule, and respectfully point out that we will not guarantee being able to source services for clients who fail to do so. If this should become a serious concern for us, we reserve the right to suspend further work on the project until the client has rectified the situation. We expect payment to be made within 30 days of the date of an invoice. When invoices remain unpaid, we reserve the right to charge interest to the sum outstanding at a rate of 5% per month, compounded; plus a reasonable administration fee to cover the associated expenses incurred by us. If part of the service that AE has agreed to provide for the client is to collect fees from the their delegates, then such payments will normally be batched and forwarded to the client at the end of each month. In the unlikely event that the client has not maintained the agreed payment schedule, then AE reserves the right to retain the amount that it is owed by the client from such collected fees.
AE will provide a regular report on every project to clients. AE will agree this frequency with the client at the outset, as well as how the information will be distributed, (for example if each member of a management committee needs a hard copy.) All routine written communication is carried out electronically, but hard copies can be provided if requested, although this is usually chargeable.
Clients or delegates can, of course, contact us with general informal enquiries or comments, at any time. However we request that any queries intended for a supplier should always be directed through AE, to ensure clear communication. From experience we know that bypassing this route often leads to confusion and mismanagement of a project. AE would never expect a client to give instruction directly to a supplier, but will be happy to facilitate meetings between clients and suppliers, either at the planning stage or as the project progresses to review progress and deal with problems. (If AE learns that a client has been deliberately flouting its operating procedures in this respect, it reserves the right to call further meetings, at the clients' expense, to resolve the matter and ensure that the project is completed to the satisfaction of all parties.)
Because our experience and creativity generally contributes a signinificant amount of value to the service we provide, we ask our clients and prospective clients to respect that, keep such knowledge out of the public domain, and to use it only for the purpose of the running of the project. Specifically, if we develop a project brief for a prospective client, who does not then enter into a contract with us to deliver it, we ask that they request our permission before the brief is passed to another contractor, or if they decide to do the work in-house. If our brief ends up being used this way, we reserve the right to charge a reasonable fee in retrospect, to cover the time and effort that we had invested in its preparation.
We consider ourselves to be a diligent ethical behaviour in how we operate. We always strive to follow not just the letter, but the spirit of all the legislation surrounding our activities. However, if at any time a customer or delegate has reason to be unhappy with how we are operating, we ask you to put your concerns in writing (or we will ask you to confirm the accuracy of the transcript of a telephone conversation). Once we have that information, we undertake to examine all the circumstances diligently, and if we find that there is a problem with any of our processes, staff or ICT systems, we will rectify matters as soon as possible, and do everything reasonable within our power to correct any harm done. If the issue is with one of our suppliers, then we will advocate the client's best interests in attempting to find a solution.
In return we ask that clients bring to our attention any issues surrounding honest mistakes or poor service by us as quickly as possible, so that they may be resolved with a minimum of disruption. Clients and delegates should know that AE welcomes such informal contact.
If an event demands consideration of a particular issue, or a client has a specific requirement not covered in these general terms, then AE will attempt to include it in the most appropriate way.
February 2008, edited March 2014