How to let a vendor know you will no longer need their services

Are you planning an event but one of your vendors isn’t pulling enough weight? Maybe you’re concerned and are thinking about terminating the contract. Follow the steps outlined below in order to part on good terms and avoid any dreaded legal action.

The vendor contract

The first thing you want to do is make sure you know exactly what your vendor contract states about event terminations and/or event cancellations. A good vendor contract will state exactly which situations are considered breach of contract and which situations are deemed terminable with no penalty.

If your situation could be considered a breach of contract, proceed with caution. Read the entire vendor contract from beginning to end and make sure you have a clear understanding of all termination clauses. The last thing you want is to get slapped with legal action.

If you’ve determined your situation will not have legal repercussions, follow the instructions outlined in the contract. This can include contacting the vendor directly or following up with a written letter. This will also help you determine how to calculate final compensation, whether you're entitled to a refund or how much you might owe for final payment.

Terminating or canceling a vendor contract

Discuss In-person or over the phone

Just like any breakup, an open discussion about terminating the contract is warranted. Get clear on the issue and explain why you think nulling the contract is the best step forward. When detailing the issue, remember to be honest and calm. Try to face the situation without emotion and don’t forget to thank them for the work already done.

Once the vendor is aware of your desire to terminate, it’s important to discuss final compensation and ensure you’re both clear on financial next steps.

Alternatively, the vendor may not be aware of the issue at hand. Instead, they may be open to concessions once you explain your position. You may not need to terminate the contract after all.

Calling to terminate or cancel a vendor contract

Write a termination letter

In addition to calling, it’s courtesy to write the vendor a letter to complete the termination. Write down what you discussed during the call; why you wish to part ways and what ultimately led to your decision. This will help the vendor understand why you decided to null the vendor contract. Again, remember to be amicable. This is ultimately the termination of a professional event business. Avoid putting too much emotion into the wording.

It’s important to document and time-stamp all discussions. In the case that the vendor does pursue a legal battle, you’ll want to have as much back up documentation as possible.