Skip to main content

There was a time when faith was a honest handshake and the event planner got on with the job as they had all the contacts and knowledge to make it happen.  There was a sense of pioneering and unshakable belief in one’s abilities to deliver a great event because the personality of the people and local contacts invariably shown through.

Things started to change when Special Diets started to creep into the event vocabulary and that was quickly followed by Perrier, and water needed to be sparkling. Fads suddenly became the norm, for a while, and compliance was understanding the client needs which was sometimes at the cost of objectivity.

2007 was a milestone when some serious legislation came into existence (Corporate Manslaughter (Corporate Homicide in the USA) with many event organisers complaining that “the fun had gone out of the industry” with the checks and balances now needed from certified suppliers. For some there is an aversion to extreme sports as the risk is too high. We are a global industry and what we saw was companies legislated in their home country being responsible wherever they worked but with local destination legislation either not existing or different.

In Morocco a camel owner is not obliged to take out insurance whereas the horse drawn carriages (caliche) are regulated and insured. One “saddle” does not fit all.

Having got the message through that having Fully Comprehensive Insurance cover on your car does not stop you being prosecuted for dangerous driving, the focus was now moving to the supplier chain, event planner skills and overall knowledge of health and safety legislation.  For the AV and Production Agencies new terms such as ISOH, NEBOSH, HSE to name a few entered the event lexicon.

Now the focus is on contract alterations. Jurisdiction of Law has long been an issue especially with the supply chain. What is emerging is dispute resolution as a first step and the question is where – a variation on Jurisdiction of Law.   Add in the additional inclusions under force Majeure especially around transport being able to provide a service. Service Levels are not Force Majeure but this needs patient explanation. The Jury is out on this one.

GDPR had everyone is overdrive but things have settled, and some good common-sense practices are emerging. “Less is best” and sending only what is required is emerging.

However, GDPR is a two-way street and often we are having to seek confirmation that the client has the permissions in place to be able to send the data in the first instance.  Asking the suppliers to be compliant and not confirming the client is compliant is something to be vigilant about. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the Privacy Policy is the end.  What is emerging is an increase in data audits by clients, especially those who are data driven. Data collection and data management are two of the areas of focus but where the challenge starts are the area of data destruction especially when this includes the supply chain and for the events industry with a real mixed bag of suppliers and mentalities.

Nobody likes to throw things out and the time it takes to ensure written confirmation has been received from all recipients who have been involved in the delivery of that service should not be underestimated. At VOQIN’ we will see Brazil introduce its version of GDPR in the autumn of 2020 driven by international demand amongst other things.

There is the whole area of risk mitigation of which risk assessment and health and safety is part; security and keeping people safe. Complying with rules and processes is time consuming, requires skills and is a variable as cultures, legislation and attitudes vary.  Time is money and the question is “who is paying” when for many, it’s all about price?

By John Hooker, Kaizen Champion & Head of Compliance at VOQIN´