If you're having an exposition, big sale, or another customer event, you need to make sure you have your legal bases covered in order to prevent a lawsuit. Because you might not be used to handling the crowds a large consumer event can draw, things can get out of control, and any ensuing injuries could be pinned on your business in a personal injury claim.
1. Be sure you do a proper estimate of your expected guests.
When you advertise your event, it's important to make sure that you properly gauge the amount of people who might attend. The potential for large crowds also increases the potential for injury. You will need enough staff, a large enough event space, and enough product to satisfy your attendees. While you cannot control who decides to attend, you can:
- hire extra security. You will need to bring in more security to prevent shoplifting, but also to prevent violence and to make sure that there is no problem with people meeting their needs. For example, long bathroom lines could lead to complaints or discomfort, and having a guard organize the lines and prevent cutting can really help keep people's temper's down. For flash sales, security guards could also be utilized to prevent arguments over limited stock and to process people into the correct lines for checkout.
- limit how many people enter the event space at a time. Ideally, all your consumers should be allowed free reign over the sale space. But in the event you have larger-than-expected crowds, try to limit injury possibility by letting people in and out by number. People can line up outside the building waiting for their turn to come in.
- gauge your expectations by creating an RSVP list on social media. Social media is the most effective way to spread the word about your event. If you organize the event on Facebook, for example, people can say they are coming or that they "maybe" might come. If you count the affirmative votes and the maybe votes and plan your event to deal with that amount of people, you'll likely have better service for your customers and lesser potential for damage.
2. Check building codes and safety permits.
You can also be liable for damages if people are not able to meet their needs because you violated building codes. For example, commercial exposition centers have a body limit for fire safety. If you exceed the limit during your event and there is a fire or another emergency that requires quick evacuation, any injured people could hold you at least partially responsible because you did not follow the maximum person safety limit. Once you have a good estimate for the number of people attending, you can find a venue that has the right egress requirements.
3. Be sure that people have access to the things they need.
If the venue does not have bathrooms, you will need to rent portable toilets. If you're not providing food, you will need to hire vendors or allow for breaks so people can come and go as needed to purchase food. If there are no water fountains, provide water bottles for sale at a reasonable cost (or for free). You want to prevent people from passing out from dehydration and anticipate the needs of your clientele. For example, if you're holding wedding dress sample sale, you'll need to provide a place where hundred of girls can try on dresses without having their privacy compromised.
For more ideas about how to make your event more secure and liability-free, contact a security company, such as Oversight Security, in your area.