Essential ingredients for a compliant event planning checklist

event checklist


When it comes to your event planning checklist, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s involves far more than making sure you event is well attended, or that your key note speaker is booked well in advance. The legal aspects of event planning are vast, and if ignored, can have serious consequences for all involved. By including these in your event planning checklist, you’re safeguarding yourself, your guests and any vendors from potential danger – whether physical or reputational in nature.

Your event planning checklist serves as a map, directing you and your staff towards a successful – and compliant – event

First things first; prepare and school yourself on all elements that require some form of compliance. (Reading this blog is an excellent start.) Finding out at the last minute that your event doesn’t have sufficient health and safety plans in place is less than ideal, so avoid any unpleasant surprises by evaluating your event from beginning to end. Every event will have different requirements as far as compliance is concerned. If just one of these is overlooked (by accident or on purpose), the ramifications can be dire.

Your event planning checklist needs to cover the following eight aspects of event compliance:

  • General Safety and Fire Prevention
  • Liability and Insurance
  • Electrical Procedures and Requirements
  • National Building Regulations for Temporary Structures
  • Safe Working Practices; Gas/and or Naked Flame Application and Usage
  • Rigging Guidelines; Ladders and Scaffolding

Conducting a safety assessment of your venue needs to be at the top of your event planning checklist

In order to identify any possible safety hazards, both the organiser (that’s you) and the contractor (if you’re building a temporary structure like a free-standing bar, stage or Bedouin tent) need to inspect the entire venue. Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated and pin pointed any potential red-flags, you’ll be able to draw up a Disaster Management Plan. As well as equipping yourself with a plan should an incident occur, this will act as an important safeguard against any legal action that may result should an incident occur.

A Disaster Management Plan is only compliant once it’s been approved by the local Disaster Management Centre (DMC) and the local Fire Safety Officer

Your event planning checklist must prioritise the compilation of your Disaster Management Plan, as well as contacting and obtaining approval from the relevant parties. Make sure you’ve set adequate time aside to compile an exhaustive and detailed plan – as stipulated in the South African National Standards (SANS) 10366: Standard for Live Events.

Importantly, your event planning checklist must include steps to document all of your event compliance procedures

Going to all the trouble of ensuring all aspects of your event are compliant is moot if you don’t have the documentation in place to prove it. In addition, without written proof that all parties involved in your event (your suppliers, vendors and contractors) are competent and dedicated to following best practice when it comes to health and safety (including theirs) – you can be held liable should any incident occur. In addition, make sure your event planning checklist includes a full brief of all role-players before the event – this will ensure that everyone is informed of their responsibilities, as well as aware of the procedures to follow in case of an accident or emergency.

Last but not least, make sure that you’ve included steps to ensure that the handling and storage of all guest information is POPI-compliant

This oft-neglected task is a pivotal part of event compliance. You need to make sure that the information your privy to (for example, names, occupations, demographics, etc.) is safely stored and managed in a way that’s in line with the stipulations as set out by the Protecting of Personal Information Act. This includes ensuring that all content management systems (yes, even your smartphone) are password protected, and that you notify the guest in questions as to your intentions for processing their data. (Read the full run down of your responsibilities as set out by the Act in our blog here.)

Our event registration software is fully POPI compliant. Find out more, here. We’ll help you to ensure that your events are compliant. Get started by downloading our free Event Compliance Checklist.

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