What insurance? But I’m the balloon guy with the centrepieces, for goodness sake!
This is the world we currently live in – the world of indemnity, risk assessment and occupational health and safety. Some of the things we were doing as an event company 10 years ago now make my hair stand on end.
The biggest issue I have with all of this is that the rules are constantly changing, depending on where you are and who you talk to. What that means is some companies and venues think there is only one standard path – theirs, and will expect the same outcome every time they run an event. That’s where the problem starts to impact on us all.
One recent example in Melbourne involved a performer who fell on to a table and caused great injury to the roast lamb, not to mention the guest and himself. Did the event company and the performer carry out a risk assessment or have adequate coverage? Of course not. In the end it was the client and venue that had to sort out the mess and the rest of the industry paid for what happened. Even though the majority are doing the right thing, all event companies were treated like amateurs by the venue and had to go through such a rigorous process that it made finding Osama Bin Laden look easy.
All because the company didn’t have a plan in place and the venue didn’t check.
Perhaps this was a good thing, as it certainly forced everyone to address the issue. Experienced event managers know that a risk assessment is the only way to fully scope the possible outcomes of an event.. However, it’s certainly not going to stop the “I-can-do-everything” event company which wouldn’t know the difference between a risk assessment and a room-service menu.
Within the industry we have to educate clients, suppliers, venues and entertainers to raise the standard so we don’t all suffer when someone mucks up. “If it’s not on, it’s not on” (to quote a condom manufacturer) is truly fitting.