Last Updated on October 7, 2021
If you’re going to bring a third party in to help with your event – be they a DJ, a vendor, or a security firm – then it’s in your best interests to look into their background before you opt to work with them. The reason, of course, is tied to liability. That is, if you knowingly (or unknowingly) hire a criminal of any kind to assist with your event, then you’re the one who bears the brunt of the legal backlash if and when they step out of line (to say nothing of the damage this can do to your brand).
If you’re inviting someone to attend your event as a guest or volunteer – in essence, as a representation of your brand – then you need to do a full background check on them. Anyone with a history of violent or sexual crime shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near an event venue. Likewise, avoid hiring a guest speaker known for unprofessional conduct.
This isn’t simply a matter of due diligence. In most cases, proper background checks are required by law for any service provider at an event – this includes volunteers, guest speakers, vendors, and caterers. As such, you should require any volunteers at your event to provide photo identification along with a criminal background check.
The same should hold true for guest speakers (unless they’re particularly well-known and acclaimed in your industry). Further, it’s also extremely important that you only bring in reputable catering companies, sound engineers, and venue managers to help run your conference. You’re the boss when it comes to running your event – which means that you’re held accountable for the actions of your employees.
Now, one area in which you’ve a bit of wiggle room is your vendors. Since they aren’t technically there as a representative of your conference, you don’t necessarily need to do any official criminal background check. They’re not working for you, after all; they’re partners.
Even so, I’d advise that you carry out a bit of research on them just the same. Even a cursory search on Google can reveal some pretty telling information, after all.
As an event manager, you know full well the amount of damage a bad guest speaker or irresponsible volunteer can do to an event. The damage that can be done by a criminal, whether you hire them knowingly or unknowingly is much, much more extensive. You owe it to both yourself and your guests to ensure that there are no dangerous individuals present at your event, no matter what it takes.
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