Last Updated on October 7, 2021
One of the most important challenges facing you as an event planner is the law. I’m not just talking about writing contracts or being aware of the legal environment in which you’re running your events – though these certainly do play a part. It’s a little deeper than that.
I should explain a bit.
It’s no real secret that many in the business world – and that includes event management professionals – have a deeply-ingrained distrust of lawyers. They fret about legal fees. They worry about being limited in what their organization can do with its brand. Most of all, they’re paranoid about being lied to – it’s almost expected by many that a lawyer will twist the truth to suit their own ends.
To such individuals, I have a simple message: get over it.
Virtually every business in the world needs at least one lawyer on staff. This is especially true for event management firms, which often face a plethora of legal issues many other organizations will never have to deal with. Today, we’re going to go over just a few of the reasons your organization needs a lawyer.
Corporate lawyers in particular are well-versed in dealing with legal liabilities. I’m not just talking about incidents that might transpire at one of your events (though they’re certainly counted here). Many of the laws involved with starting up an organization tend to be challenging, complicated, and confusing; lawyers are trained to deal with these laws and help you make the best decisions possible when it comes to starting up your business. They’ll also give you valuable advice about managing possible problems, including sexual harassment involving one of your attendees or a severe and hazardous equipment failure at your event site.
In short, they know the law like the back of their hand so you don’t have to.
Keeping Your Contracts Fair
I’ve yet to meet a person who actually enjoys navigating the inner workings of a contractual agreement. They’re often drier than the Sahara, more complicated than a labyrinth and filled with enough legal jargon to put even the most attentive professional to sleep. What’s worse, if you end up making a deal with a bad partner or vendor – and that’s bound to happen eventually – they’re probably going to couch whatever nefarious acts they want to commit in blocky, cumbersome language.
Basically, they’ll write the contract so someone who isn’t trained in law won’t be able to spot the loopholes.
Any lawyer worth their salt won’t be fooled, though. That’s why it’s a good idea to bring one along when it comes to contractual negotiations (or at least have one on speed dial in the event that something confusing surfaces).
Making Sure You Don’t Land In Legal Hot Water
I said before that lawyers are trained in liability management. I’d like to revisit that point again. See, a lot of the biggest legal scandals of the past several years only came about because the organizations involved either didn’t have a legal team or didn’t listen to their team when a crisis reeled its ugly head. End result?
Best case is a destroyed brand. Worst case is government intervention and a class-action lawsuit. Having a lawyer on the payroll will reduce the risk of you landing your own firm in a situation like this. Keep that in mind the next time you’re wont to look down on the idea.
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2014 has finally come and gone. As is the custom around this time of year, we’re going to take a brief look back before turning our eyes toward the future.