Follow these important insurance tips from Allison Steves at Shoff Darby Companies for successful and safe bridal shows!
- Read your venue contract before you sign it. Know what you are being asked to insure and convey those requirements to your insurance agent. If you do not agree with something in the contract, now is the time to negotiate that with the venue.
- Inspect the venue prior to set-up. Notify in writing the venue management of any damage or unsafe conditions you see prior to occupying the space. You do not want to be responsible for damage you did not cause so put them on notice upfront. This also gives them an opportunity to deal with any unsafe issues or areas.
- Review & update your exhibitor contract annually. Have this checked annually by your insurance agent. Keep up on trends and issues in the consumer show world and insurance and update the contract to stay current and to protect yourself.
- Hire subcontractors with insurance. When hiring a decorator, security, and A/V people, it is imperative that they have their own insurance and provide you with a certificate of insurance listing your company as an additional insured.
- Be aware of how you are hiring talent and protect yourself accordingly. Where are you getting your models from? Who is insuring them if they get injured or injure someone else? It is important to have properly signed contracts and waivers if they are to be considered independent contractors. If they are not, then you need to insure them on workers’ compensation.
- How are you staffing your bridal show? If you are having people come and work at your show, you are going to be responsible for them unless you are hiring them from an employment agency or they have their own insurance. You can call them independent contractors but from an insurance standpoint unless they have their own business and insurance, they are your employees and you need insurance to cover their injuries.
- Educate your staff. Prior to the show opening, review the show with them. Make sure everyone knows what the schedule is and what their job entails. Review good loss control practices such as seeing a taped cord coming loose to do something about it. Your staff should be told to react to hazards on the show floor by being pro-active not re-active to potential slip/fall/trip hazards.
- Not purchasing Event Cancellation and Interruption Insurance early enough. Technically when you sign your venue contract or start collecting exhibitor fees, you should insure your show for possible cancellation. Once you start collecting money you would need to refund if the show did not go on. Things happen beyond our control that can affect events. Venues get damaged—think hurricanes, tornadoes, fires & roof collapse from ice & snow.
- Take the time prior to your bridal show to analyze and seek insurance coverage for special risks. Are you borrowing a collection to be displayed? Are you renting any equipment? Who is responsible for it? Discussing ahead of time anything “special” that is going on at your show with your insurance agent allows proper time to quote the extra coverage needed. Is the additional cost for insurance worth the added-value the exhibit or exposure will bring to your show?
- Don’t wait until the last minute! Order your insurance in advance; most venues require 30 days ahead for liability. Be sure to give sufficient time for the insurance agent and insurance company to review and quote your cancellation insurance and return it to you for review with time to purchase in advance of the show. Please keep in mind the more time you give your insurance professionals the better job they can do on your behalf. Pay close attention to the expiration dates on the insurance quotations.
Content © Allison Steeves, Shoff Darby Companies
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