General legal requirements
In the context of events, these may include:
- The venue might be designated for specific purposes.
- The venue might have a maximum capacity.
- Risk management, including insurances (public liability, professional indemnity, etc.)
- Police clearances for some kinds of personnel
- Duty of care including:
- Occupational health and safety, including hazard identification, safety signage, fire egress, first aid, etc.
- Public liability
- Health regulations for providing food, including cooking and storing food, not just serving food. (Many venues have problems with pests, especially cockroaches.)
- Authorization by board for all activities, including an adequate policy basis for decisions
- Resource management
- Pre- and post- event communications
- Proceedings (e.g. conferences, intellectual property that might relate to patents)
- Legislation affecting sponsor and donor relationships
- Legislation affecting fund-raising ventures.
Some sports have quasi-legal requirements, such as international competition rules and structures, monitoring officials and anti-doping protocols.
Conferences normally use and photocopy materials, so you should consider copyright. Use of logos in promotions is discussed elsewhere. They are copyright and may be also protected by trade mark laws and honesty in trading laws.
Other legal factors that may affect you are:
- royalties payable on music and other copyrighted materials
- industrial relations, employment laws and regulations, award and enterprise agreements
- taxation for suppliers and consumers
- employee taxation
- environmental issues
- anti-discrimination and equal opportunity
- industry codes of practice
Permits and licenses
These may include:
- concerts (for loud music, especially after certain hours)
- use of public open space
- parking on grassed areas
- special traffic management arrangements
- serving alcohol
- serving food
- security guards
- animals in urban areas (e.g. agricultural fairs, animal shows)
You may need to contact the following for liaison or permits:
- Police (general, water police, or traffic police. They may also have a Special Events section.)
- Council / local government (special events section)
- Environmental authorities
Requirements more particularly for transport:
- driver's licenses (especially relating to special classes of vehicles). Keep copies on file.
- vehicle roadworthiness
- vehicle registration
Licensing requirements more particularly for staff of outdoor events can include:
- builders and building work
- electricians and electrical work
- gas fitters
- handling hazardous materials
- using forklifts
- licensing for firearm sports
- special effects and pyrotechnics
Keep a list of agreements. During your event planning, you will probably initiate agreements and contracts with suppliers and sponsors. If so, you should have a list of all agreements to make sure that:
- you keep all your obligations,
- they deliver according to the agreement.
Give your accountant an up-to-date copy of the list (or keep it on an intranet) so the accountant knows what payments they must make and receive, and the terms of payment.
Keep track of your licensing and regulatory requirements. You should at least have a list of:
- Federal and state legislation with which you must comply.
- Local government laws.
- Regulations and policy statements.
- Procedures for relating to government departments to which you are accountable in some way.
- All licences and permits.
- Any police clearances you need for staff (e.g. working with children).
You must normally have adequate insurance cover or you should cancel your event. In many cases, adequate insurance cover will be a legal requirement for providing the event, and public liability insurance for some kinds of events can be so expensive that it determines the go/no-go decision. Insurance is often a very complex field and needs its own set of steps, which should include getting independent advice.
Your insurability may depend on:
- Adequate government permits
- Any other government compliance and liaison
- OHS including:
- Policies and procedures in place
- Staff training and expertise
- OHS risk management
- Adequate other risk management and contingency planning
- The size of the event compared to total activities
- Your track record with the insurance company.
You may already be adequately insured through your sponsoring body (e.g. such as events run by hotels on their own premises).
There are different kinds of insurance that you may need. Public liability is the obvious one, but you might also need:
- Building insurance
- Professional indemnity insurance (if you give professional advice)
- Musical instrument insurance
- Key man insurance (insurance of key personnel, e.g. CEO)
- Workers compensation insurance (employee's accidents)
- Volunteer insurance (volunteer's accidents)
There are many other kinds of insurance that may apply in particular circumstances, for which you should get advice.
If the show will be on tour, especially overseas tour, you may need to get either specialized insurance, or the option of a rider.
In other cases, you will have to research different insurers . . .
- Compare products from different companies; they usually are different in at least some ways.
- Be sure the policy you get will fully meet your needs and all identified risks. Don't just go for lower priced policies; they might provide inadequate cover.
- Some companies are better than others to get payments from if you have a claim.
- Some group and special schemes can provide excellent cover at very low rates.
- A trustworthy insurance broker can take most of the work out of it.
- If you are negligent in some way, insurers may decide to fight a large claim.