Licensed and Insured
A friend asked for referrals for some simple home renovations.
I said, “Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured.” I told her to contact RECENT clients (verifying that the names and addresses checked out).
“Get copies of licenses and insurance certificates of coverage before hiring anyone,” I warned.
She didn’t. I asked if she’d used any of my recommendations. She said our contractors were all too expensive. They decided to go with someone else.
Lo and behold: Not only was the work on their house held up by NINE months, (the workers would show up for a day or two and would vanish for a couple of weeks), there were some serious issues with the workers and the work itself.
There were different workers on the job all the time. No-one was overseeing the work and errors were made.
Turns out they were big errors—big enough to cause the walls to shift and cracks to appear.
Unfortunately, the contractor had disappeared by then. My friend was trying to find out how to fix the damage. They had to pay someone else to come out and do the work. No insurance. No relief.
I say this as an event professional: you want to protect yourself, protect your clients and guests, and protect your business.
Hire talent that is licensed and insured. If your heart is set on a certain performer or act, and they don’t carry liability insurance, see if they can be hired through a company that carries insurance.
When I think back over all of the things I’ve learned in my career(s) so far, I am shocked by what I didn’t know.
For three years before the the pandemic, I had the pleasure of presenting to Georgia State University’s Event Planning class as a guest lecturer. In my presentations, I covered an overview of practical advice for beginning event planners on a wide variety of issues involving entertainment. Some of the topics were insurance, safety, signage, communication, and contracts.
I loved teaching this class, but what resonated most with me was seeing how many simple, practical, and actionable elements of event planning are frequently overseen by inexperienced planners. Not only do planners sometimes neglect these important safeguards, but so do venues, not-for-profits, associations, and yes, even your Aunt Sally!
There is a reason most venues and institutions demand a Certificate of Insurance. Don’t let your event be the one that causes widespread panic, disappointment, or even worse—harm.