Venue Hire Terms & Conditions
Whether you are booking House of Thoughts as a venue for focus groups, workshops or a sensory research facility, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Booking the venue
To keep things fair for all of our clients, we do not hold dates until a signed confirmation has been received. Once this has been received, your account manager will discuss with you all of the relevant dates such as delivery dates (if required) and fieldwork dates. Once you have agreed to these dates, these are locked in and changes to them will incur change / postponement / cancellation penalties as outlined below.
Changes to booking after confirmation
The project costings that you were provided within the proposal are based on a number of factors such as research design (that is, the methodology, sample size, timings and deliverables). We will not proceed with any aspect of the booking until you are completely satisfied and have provided written confirmation for us to proceed. That said, we understand that we operate in a pretty dynamic industry and things do need to change from time to time. After we have received a signed confirmation, should you need to change any aspect of the agreed scope, we will:
Halt any further work and discuss the variations with you
Document the variation and any additional costing and timing implications and provide this to you to make sure you are completely satisfied
Upon your written approval, continue with the variation included.
Variations can include (but at not limited to):
Changes to the objectives, aims, goals or information needs.
Changes to any of the data collection or sampling methodologies (including changes to quotas, sample frames, sample sources, sample incidences, sample sizes)
Changes to the provision of customer and non customer lists or how the lists are provided, or the details contained on the lists (including problems with the quality of lists or if the lists do not perform as per the proposal outline)
Changes to questionnaire lengths.
Changes to fieldwork management requirements (including more frequent fieldwork reports or other management tools)
Changes to deliverables, reports, instruments which were not initially specified in the research brief and costed for in our proposal.
Additional reports or presentations or changes to the required formats of presentations.
Delays caused by the client not being able to provide us with the required stimulus material or lists. In these instances, our variations will include adjustments to the timing and adjustments to the project management component of our fee.
Changes to client personnel which may result in the need for additional briefings or re-work with the new project team, or which may result in a change to the objectives of the research.
If the client changes personnel during the project and we are required to repeat meetings or any step of the project, we will charge all additional meetings at cost.
Possible impacts on bookings related to COVID-19
At this point in time, there are no Victorian State government restrictions on the operation of our business. Should this change when you have a booking at our venue confirmed, we will be in contact as soon as possible to arrange an alternative solution.
Please note that during all stages of lockdowns experienced since the beginning of the pandemic, our business activities were deemed non-essential and were impacted by closures and social distancing guidelines. Whilst we do not anticipate that these will return, we cannot rule them out altogether.
As with many businesses, the main challenge that COVID-19 is now presenting to our business is in staffing shortages due to illness and isolation requirements. Where possible, we will always ensure that the staff working on the project are the same however where this cannot be the case, every reasonable measure will be taken to replace any staff member who is unavailable due to illness or isolation requirements. If this is not possible for any reason, ie. specialisation of staff member or competing booking of alternative appropriate staff, we will notify you accordingly.
In the instance of needing to close the venue due to COVID-19 transmission, you will be notified and there will be no postponement or cancellation costs charged. House of Thoughts will provide the next suitable date at the earliest possible time.
The timing of the project is contingent on all components being completed within the allocated time. Should any component exceed the original timeframe (as a result of a client delay, or the task becoming more involved than originally proposed), House of Thoughts will charge additional project management fees on a pro-rata basis. We will also be required to revise the deliverable date of any topline or final reports and presentations which may exceed the number of days that the delay occurred due to other project commitments.
All deliverables included in the costings will be outlined within your proposal. An additional fee will be charged for any reports, presentations, photos or videos that are required outside those listed and constitute a change to booking.
Depending on the type of reason why you are hiring House of Thoughts and in which function it is being used, there may be an opportunity for clients to visit and "view" the research being conducted. This is not always an option that we are able to provide so it is best to speak to your account manager if this is something that you wish to do. Reasons why this may not be possible for every project may include, but is not limited to:
Respondent privacy concerns
Space considerations, especially with sensory fieldwork
Methodological considerations (ie. there is nothing to "see" or "hear" from a research perspective
Client privacy concerns (we regularly stock client products and prototypes on site either before or after projects and in some instances, having external visitors is not appropriate.
We take our clients confidentiality seriously and hope that you understand if we need to say no to a visit under these circumstances. Rest assured that we would guard your products and prototypes with the same level of confidentiality.
For sensory projects in particular we recommend clients attend our fieldwork briefing session prior to the commencement of fieldwork instead of attending the actual fieldwork. This is because space is particularly tight during sensory fieldwork where the fieldwork team are moving between the sensory booths and kitchen space serving products and cleaning up. There is also nothing to see or hear during a sensory project from a respondent perspective as respondents are seated in individual booths and complete the evaluation in silence on a touchscreen computer to remove any bias between respondents. The fieldwork briefing session is the staff briefing prior to a project and details how products are to be stored, prepared and served which is where clients can provide more detail. Once fieldwork has commenced, the fieldwork setup will remain unchanged to ensure data robustness.
After the project is commissioned, should you advise us of your need to postpone it, or if is delayed with or without advice, House of Thoughts will issue a variation. In consultation with you we will establish a revised timeline. The variation will also adjust the invoicing schedule to immediately allow House of Thoughts to invoice the following value:
Project time expended at cost
Supplier fees and disbursements expended at cost
All project management costs as specified in the proposal
Day rate of venue for any bookings postponed within 3 business days of booking.
Should the client need to cancel after confirmation has been received, the following penalties apply.
For cancellations of venue bookings within 3 business days of the booked date or dates, House of Thoughts will invoice up to the following value:
Project time expended at cost
Supplier fees and disbursements expended at cost
Day rate of venue for any bookings cancelled within 3 business days of booking for each day cancelled.
For cancellations that are more than 3 business days of the booked date, House of Thoughts will waive the day rate of venue for any bookings that were cancelled with more than 3 business days notice. In this scenario, House of Thoughts may still invoice up to the following value:
Project time expended at cost
Supplier fees and disbursements expended at cost
The project costings are based on the research design (that is, the methodology, sample size, incidence rates, timings, and deliverables) outlined in the proposal you received and signed. We will not proceed with our proposal until you are completely satisfied with the design and have provided written authority for us to proceed.
All figures in the proposal are in Australian Dollars (AUD) unless otherwise stated.
Our standard invoicing terms are:
100% invoice to be issued at Project Completion and is payable within 30 days from the issue date unless alternative payment terms have been agreed previous to confirmation of proposal.
For payment terms outside of our standard terms, House of Thoughts will charge an additional 17.5% on all direct costs of the project to cover any overdraft or interest payments that may be incurred as a result of altered payment terms.
Recruitment and incentivising respondents for research purposes
We provide for respondent payments and recruitment within the proposal which is based upon the difficulty of the sample to recruit for the research and the input required by respondents. House of Thoughts will pass on all costs to the client where respondent prices are above those quoted due to changes in recruitment specification such as narrowing of a sample or increasing sample size.
Respondents receive an incentive to acknowledge their effort and any expenses that they may have incurred to attend central location research such as, but not limited to, travel expenses or babysitting expenses. Reimbursement of recruitment or incentive fees will not be made based on lower than expected attendance or response rates. In instances where attendance or response rates are twenty percent (20%) lower than quoted, fieldwork may be extended to boost the sample size if necessary.
At House of Thoughts we endeavor to provide the project personnel as defined within the proposal however in some circumstances, this is not always possible. You will be contacted and informed of any necessary changes to the core project team if and when a change is required. This does not include fieldwork staff.
From time to time, we are engaged to assist in projects that are not based at our regular facility. In these instances, we will have outlined the specifics of any travel required by the team, including an estimate of travel expenses.
All travel and accommodation expenses will be charged at cost additional to the specified project fee. You will be provided with an estimate of travel expenses within the proposal however this figure is prone to variations outside of the control of House of Thoughts and can only be based upon flight and accommodation, fuel and parking costs at the time that the proposal is written. What this means is that any travel costs associated with attendance at meetings, travel to focus groups and client presentations are additional to our consulting fees.
Our policy is to fly at a time that is acceptable to meet the requirements of the project. Flight times of less than five (5) hours within a twenty four (24) hour period will be purchased as an economy fare. Any flight time exceeding five (5) hours within a twenty four (24) hour period will be booked as business class fares.
We select appropriate accommodation to meet the requirements of the project.
Our policy is to send up to two staff members to each location and event which is at the discretion of the project team and will depend upon the quantity and complexity of fieldwork. If we elect to send more than two individuals, this will be at our expense unless we agree otherwise with the client.
Down time as a result of travel time is charged within the travel costs up to a maximum of ten (10) hours per researcher per day. Any costs incurred from flight delays or reschedules that are outside of House of Thoughts’ control will also be charged to the client at cost. This includes any fees charged by the airlines and any additional travel time incurred by our consultants.
On very rare occasions where flight delays, postponements or cancellations which are outside of House of Thoughts’ control, cause postponements of focus groups, meetings or other scheduled events, we will advise the client in writing as soon as practical of this situation. This will automatically evoke a variation and any additional expenses required as part of a project redesign will be borne by the client.
Additional travel costs such as car hire, parking or taxis are to be covered in full by the client.
Costs associated with the researcher being away from home such as meals and refreshments are to be covered by the client but will be capped at a maximum of $85 per researcher per day or part thereof.
All travel expenses will be included on the final invoice, or at the request of the client, provided as a separate invoice and may differ from the originally quoted amount within the proposal by no more than thirty percent (30%) for domestic travel and no more than fifty five percent (55%) for international travel.
By agreeing to our research design, the client automatically accepts these travel and accommodation terms.
House of Thoughts accepts no responsibility whatsoever and howsoever from any claim, damage, loss or costs whether for property damage, personal injury, death, economic or consequential loss arising out of provision of advice, services or products to consumers including, without limiting the generality thereof, the preparation of products or samples, the testing of products of samples and the use of equipment owned by or located on the premises of House of Thoughts or any of our suppliers such as fieldwork venues or online panel providers.
The client indemnifies and agrees to keep House of Thoughts indemnified against any claim, damage, loss or costs made, suffered by or incurred, whether the same arises in tort (including negligence), contract, statute in low or the equity and whether such claim, damage, loss or costs relates to property damage, personal injury, death, economic or consequential loss arising directly or indirectly out of the conduct of market research.
The client releases House of Thoughts to the full extent permitted by law from all claims, damages, loss or costs of every kind and against and from all liability which may arise in respect of any accident or damage to property or the death of or injury to any person whatsoever nature or kind caused directly or indirectly by the provision of advice, services or products.
Any proprietary methodologies used by the Consultants are their intellectual property and the client is licensed to use this property during the course of the project. Any intellectual property developed as part of the project would be the property of the client upon payment of the fees outlined. The deliverables become the property of the client upon payment of the fees outlined.
House of Thoughts is committed to the implementation of Quality Assurance in all relevant areas of its operations. A Quality Management System and procedures have been prepared and projects are being managed in accordance with these standards.
Limit of Liability
While House of Thoughts makes every endeavour to provide accurate and reliable data, information and recommendations, the nature of the marketplace and the nature of the implementation of any actions arising from the research we undertake makes it impossible for us to guarantee any specific future outcome from the work we perform. Therefore we do not accept liability for any actions which may be taken by the client as a result of consideration of our project outcomes.
All methodologies and techniques outlined in our proposals are provided solely for use by the client. All findings contained in project reports are provided solely for use by the client. Copyright is reserved by House of Thoughts. The House of Thoughts name or trademark must not be used in publications without prior written consent of the Managing Director of House of Thoughts.
House of Thoughts retains current policies for professional indemnity and public liability and will maintain their currency during the course of this project and beyond. The details of the insurance policy held by House of Thoughts will be provided to a client upon request.
Damage to the property and contents through improper use during venue hire
In instances where House of Thoughts is provided to our clients for use (such as workshops, meetings etc), it is provided at the risk of the client. Any and all damages that occur to the building, fixtures, fittings and contents (such as audio visual equipment) is at the expense of the hiring client. In instances where damage has taken place, the client is responsible for the complete repair or replacement as well as the standard venue day rate for all dates that are impacted by the damage caused until a satisfactory repair or replacement has been achieved.