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Events! A Practical and Legal Guide

The world of events is diverse and exciting, encompassing everything from office parties to sports tournaments to large-scale concerts. However, organizing an event can be a daunting task, with various risks and legal implications to...

The world of events is diverse and exciting, encompassing everything from office parties to sports tournaments to large-scale concerts. However, organizing an event can be a daunting task, with various risks and legal implications to consider. While there is no specific "Event Law," this article aims to provide clear guidance on key considerations when planning an event.

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Duties as an Event Organizer

As an event organizer, your primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of all attendees. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides practical guidance on event management. Apart from adhering to your own internal processes, it's crucial to ensure that your event providers and suppliers also have robust health and safety procedures in place. Carefully crafted supplier contracts can protect you in case of any issues.


Having adequate insurance coverage is essential for any event organizer. Public liability and cancellation insurance can safeguard you from unforeseen circumstances, such as adverse weather conditions that may necessitate postponement or cancellation. It is also prudent to make it a requirement for your suppliers to have insurance coverage, ensuring financial protection for both parties.

Risks and Waivers

Different events carry varying levels of risk, especially those involving stunts, animals, strenuous activities, or equipment. In such cases, event organizers may want to consider disclaimers or waivers to limit their liability. However, these limitations must be deemed fair according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Clear disclaimer notices, prominently displayed during booking and at the event venue, can help inform attendees about potential risks and how to mitigate them. It's important to note that attempts to exclude or limit liability for personal injury caused by negligence are ineffective.

Contracts with Consumers and Suppliers

Establishing well-defined terms and conditions with customers and suppliers is crucial for a smooth event planning process. Terms and conditions can outline payment and cancellation policies and set expectations for customer behavior. For large-scale events, venue providers may have specific policies regarding alcohol consumption and conduct, which you can transfer to customers through your terms and conditions.

On the supplier side, solid contractual agreements ensure that all parties understand their obligations. Health and safety provisions should be detailed and tailored to each supplier. Indemnity clauses are a must to allow you to recover losses in case of supplier failures. Moreover, given recent events like the COVID-19 pandemic, it's essential to clearly outline provisions for unforeseen circumstances beyond anyone's control.

Data Protection Considerations

In addition to standard data protection processes, event organizers may need to obtain further notifications and permissions when capturing video footage or photographs for advertising purposes. Understanding the requirements for obtaining consent and separating it from contractual obligations is crucial to comply with data protection regulations.

Other Considerations - Risks of Package Deals?

Sometimes events may be combined with other services, such as accommodation or transportation. This combination could potentially create a "package" and bring the event within the scope of Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 (PTRs). It's important to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with PTRs or any other relevant regulations if your plans involve such add-ons.

Future Considerations - Martyn's Law

Martyn's Law, currently under legislative scrutiny, is a draft bill that aims to enhance public safety in light of recent events. If passed, it will impose a duty on venue operators to consider terror threats and implement appropriate protection measures. These obligations may have significant implications for supplier contracts, insurance requirements, and internal health and safety procedures. Stay tuned for more updates on the impact of Martyn's Law on the travel and leisure sector.

In conclusion, organizing an event involves numerous legal and practical considerations. By understanding and addressing these key aspects, event organizers can ensure a safe and successful experience for all participants.

This article was originally published on 30 May 2023.