Negotiating a hotel or convention center contract with the most favorable terms for the organization is job one for a business event strategist. The property sales team, on the other hand, wants to get the best deal for the venue. In today’s climate of evolving market conditions and new risks, some negotiations can be intense. In this role-play session, individuals from both sides of the table negotiate sensitive clauses, and a panel of subject matter and legal experts offer their expertise.

Learner Outcomes:

  • Learn new tactics and tools for venue contract negotiations 
  • Examine three challenging negotiation scenarios in fine detail
  • Break down sensitive contract clauses into bite-sized pieces

Clock Hours: 1

Domain: Domain F: Stakeholder Management

Brought to you by Tourisme Montreal and Palais des congres de Montreal



Heather Seasholtz



Heather Seasholtz is the Director of the Meetings and Events Division at Talley Management Group. Since 2000, Heather has been in the meeting and event management industry on both the supplier partner and client sides of our industry. While at TMG, Heather co-managed the 50,000+ attendee, 2015 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. She also provided oversight to the meeting management team handling the 21,000+ attendee World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit. She is a member of the PCMA Membership Committee and is active at Penn State through mentorship and alumni initiatives.

Kerry Crockett



Kerry Crockett is the Associate Executive Director at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. She has served on numerous city client advisory boards and currently serves on the PCMA Board of Directors. Kerry is a Certified Association Executive, a Certified Meeting Professional, and a Digital Event Strategist and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Kerry is an avid animal lover and humane society volunteer in California where she lives with her wonderful husband, William and fur baby, Bella.

Joshua L. Grimes, Esq.



Joshua L. Grimes, Esq. of Grimes Law Offices, is a leading attorney in the association, nonprofit, meeting, and hospitality industries. He is a specialist in all matters relating meetings and conventions, as well as association & nonprofit governance.

Mr. Grimes’ meeting industry clients include all types of organizations, including meeting planners, corporations, associations, destination management companies, convention & visitors bureaus, hotels, venues, universities, and transportation companies. His services include contract negotiations, dispute resolution, and GDPR compliance.

Jackie Kavcak





Robert Smith



Robert Smith, CMP, CMM is the Director of Meetings for the American Educational Research Association. He has more than 20 years in the meetings industry working with both associations and corporate organizations. During this time he had designing and executed meetings and events from small executive board meetings to 17,000 person city-wides. Over the last seven years he has focused on the design of content and facilitation curriculum. In 2017, he was the chair of PCMA’s Education Conference, and is currently on the 2019 PCMA Convening Leaders Content Committee. Also, serves as a faculty member for the MPI’s Potomac Chapter CMP Study Group.

Neil R. Schriever



Neil Schriever is a Global Account Executive with Marriott International. He has held positions with leadership roles responsible for sales, marketing and new business development for destinations, hotels and resorts.
Working with different market segments has allowed Neil to engage in all facets of the industry including contract negotiation, site selection, conference management services and more. Clients and colleagues view Neil as a vital partner in their organization’s success and he is recognized as an innovator, a mentor, a collaborator, and an implementer of strategic marketing plans.
January 7 @ 15:30
15:30 — 16:30 (1h)

David L. Lawrence Convention Center Level 3 | Ballroom BC

Heather Seasholtz, Jackie Kavcak, Joshua L. Grimes, Esq., Kerry Crockett, Neil R. Schriever, Robert Smith