Events such as meetings, conferences, and workshops bring your business’s supporters, sponsors, and staff together to have fun celebrating and supporting your cause. Odds are your event is a happy one and no problems will occur. However, requiring your guests to sign waivers is a best practice for protecting your event and your organization.
Unfortunately, we can’t control everything that occurs at our events, so waivers can assure that attendees understand what to expect at the event and protect your organization if anything were to happen.
You may think your activity is too simple to require a waiver, ask yourself these questions:
- Are there physical activities involved?
- Is there food being served?
- Are there competitions involved?
- Are you taking photos during the event?
- Are there children in attendance?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, you’ll need to use waivers for your next event. Here are some essential sections to include in your event’s waiver.
The first step to getting guests to complete your waivers is to make it easy to find and complete. By partnering with an online waiver provider like Smartwaiver, you’ll be able to provide guests with access to your waivers on their device of choice.
You can link the waiver in your registration form for guests to complete prior to registering, or you can embed the link on your website’s event page. When you make your waivers virtual, you’re also giving guests the opportunity to complete the form on the platform that’s easiest for them, making them more likely to complete it.
Online waivers can also help those with disabilities, as some people may be unable to fill out a paper form. If people have visual or physical impairments, an online form can be completed on their computer or mobile device that may have tools to help them.
By removing paper waivers at the entrance of your event, you’ll also reduce the long lines at check-in and guests can quickly enjoy the fun. This will also reduce the number of people needed at check-in, and cut out the need for filing paper waivers into your visitor management system.
Waivers are important for protecting your event and your guests. In the event something were to occur, you’ll need to have a record of every guest who completed the form. This can help protect you in case a lawsuit occurs charging you with liability.
As part of the waiver, have each attendee complete basic information such as:
- First and last names
- Virtual signature or acknowledgement
- Phone number
- Email address
- Date of completion
Send all registrants a copy of their signed waiver for their own records. By ensuring you and the registrants have a copy of the waiver, you’re passing the liability onto the registrant.
Guest information can also help you log information about guests and potential donors or sponsors in your database. Be sure to ask guests if they would like to receive further contact from you at the method of their choice. This can be a great way to increase your newsletter recipients and increase post-event engagement.
Documenting your event can help enhance your organization’s marketing materials and inspire potential sponsors to attend your later events. If you have photographers coming to your event, it’s important to include a photo release in your waivers.
However, using images from your event can be a bit tricky when it comes to photos with guests in them. Some individuals may not be super pleased to find a candid photo of themselves on your social media accounts if you haven’t retrieved prior consent.
While this may not be legally required, it can be helpful to acquire consent from your event guests, especially if you’re planning on using any event imagery in public spaces like social media, email newsletters, or your annual reports. If your event has children attending, be sure to get permission for photo release from their parents or legal guardian.
Release of Liability
You’ve spent months planning the perfect event. You’ve organized each activity, but things may not always go according to plan. Inserting a release of liability in your waiver can help protect you and your guests by making sure they understand the responsibility they take on when entering the event.
It can be beneficial to list out any and all activities that attendees may be asked to participate in, so they can fully appreciate and understand what the event will entail. Putting this in writing can help protect your organization, as it shows you’ve done your part to inform attendees.
No activity is too small to include in your waiver. Information is power, so let your guests know about activities or situations such as:
- Possible food allergens.
- Athletic activities like contact sports.
- Physical activities like walkathons or 5k races.
- Any payment rules pertaining to auctions.
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By including all your activities and any situations people may need to know about beforehand, you’re able to pass responsibility onto the guests. It can also be helpful to have any volunteers complete waivers as well. Having everyone involved in the event sign a waiver will ensure that all individuals are aware of what to expect and can fully enjoy themselves at your event.
Your organization puts incredible amounts of time and energy into perfecting your events, and waivers can help your events run even more smoothly and protect your organization.
Plus, with online waivers, you’ll be able to store attendee information, so don’t forget to reach out to guests after the event is over. This makes for the perfect opportunity to thank your attendees and ask for feedback to make your next event even better than the last.
Now that you know what to look for when creating your waivers, Recharity’s guide to online waiver software can help you choose the right provider for your organization. Remember to look for a provider that can easily integrate with your established tech stack!
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