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Guilty! Unless innocence is proven.

Man in handcuffs
You are guilty - unless you can prove you are innocent. It is a fact of business life. And in business, it is the paper-trail that is going to help you prove your innocence. Disregard the paperwork, fail to complete it properly or at all, or consider it an irrelevance and you may find yourself being unable to defend your actions. This is equally true when planning events.

If something happens at your event it is a guarantee that you will be asked for the paperwork to prove it was not your fault. Even if you swear it was not your fault, you will have to prove it. You will be asked to prove that certain conversations took place. That the budget allocation was agreed. That you undertook risk assessments, agreed insurance requirements, vetted suppliers, responded appropriately regarding disability discrimination and so on. If you are lucky you will only have to prove it to your board of Directors. If unlucky, you will have to prove it in a law court.

So what can you do?

10 tips to help you protect your innocence.

  1. Review your current paperwork regularly. Merge documents to avoid duplication.
  2. Send a Venue Assessment or Recce Form in advance of a meeting and have the venue complete as much as possible beforehand, including the insurance, data protection, and H&S questions. Your assessment can then focus on the suitability and quality of the venue for your specific event.
  3. Keep the same headline subjects throughout the project and incorporate them on all the principal documents, including Agenda, Contact Reports and Evaluation Reports.
  4. Include Compliance and Risk on the Planning Agenda and within other documents – including the Evaluation Report.
  5. Clarify insurance responsibilities and include the findings within your documentation. Do not assume that someone else has the insurable responsibility.
  6. Do not alter the original budget but instead work on a separate version. One of the biggest and often most controversial issues regarding event planning is the allocation of the budget. Clients and stakeholders often fail to grasp why their changes in direction lead to changes in expenditure. Keep your client informed of changes throughout the process but also include a budget evaluation to denote where their actions may have cost more money.
  7. Incorporate all cancellation deadlines in your Timeline so that all parties know from the outset the potential cost in the event of a change of plans. This should include the ancillary suppliers too and not just the big venue cancellation details.
  8. Ask your Suppliers for their Event Evaluation Reports. They may also have recommendations that will make your next event go smoother or be more cost efficient.
  9. Ensure the Event Evaluation Report is copied to the appropriate personnel and highlight any Risk/Compliance incidents or near-misses, allowing for an ongoing investigation or possible claim.
  10. Take 10 minutes to organise your online document file before the event is finally closed and put to bed.

Good paperwork? It can save you time, energy and money and reassure all those around you that you are indeed the expert they have employed.

Bad paperwork? A failure to cover off the administrative role of an event manager appropriately could be astonishingly severe for you, your business and your clients.

Useful tips or a waste of time and effort? What do you think?

Event Training

We call it the Knowledge Audit. Critical must-know information when planning and managing events. A training course. An assessment tool. A knowledge audit. If you're not sure what you don't know then this will probably be the best training investment you have ever made. Priced from £25.  Find out more »

"The process and policy recommendations were relevant, precise and simple to implement by our Tournament Director; so an excellent service delivered perfectly".

John Simpson, CEO, JSA Ltd.
Chairman of The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy

Speaker? Lecturer? Presenter?

Guest speaker at Bournemouth University. Lecturer at Regents College. Presenter for Chartered Institute of Public Relations. If you would like us to also assist your organisation on the topic of risk management at events, or simply event management with a risk bi-line please get in touch.

Contact us to discuss what you need and when.

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Supplier review?

Mad woman

If you handle hundreds of events every year and employ numerous agencies, either under contract or ad-hoc, it may be time to undertake a risk review with your suppliers.

Responsibility and liability is often shared and certainly cannot be transferred - even by contract - particularly if the matter falls under criminal law.

Your suppliers. Your duty of care.

Interested to hear more. Contact us or read more about our assessment.