How to Reduce Risks at Your Venue – Set & Know Your RULES for Your Events & Functions
When I opened my first wedding venue in 1987, I was really naïve about business. I did NOT have much experience and as a result did NOT have any guidelines or rules about booking and running the events & functions.
The event was organised by friendly agreement and a handshake with the clients. Then when something went wrong it was HARD making up the RULES as we needed them. We learned from our mistakes and created new rules to prevent bad things happening again.
Times have changed! – Whenever you sell a Function, Event or Wedding at your Venue you are actually contracting for delivery of good & services and there are legal ramifications.
Each party to the agreement or contract is liable for certain things and there can be serious consequences for breaching the contract or failing to deliver.
There was once a wedding photographer who forgot entirely about a wedding and was sued for non-attendance. He had to pay damages.
Another example was a big ASX company that cancelled their 7 day residential conference just two weeks before the event, They were fully liable and were charged the full conference cost as a cancellation fee. Over $100k.
So you, your staff, clients and guests need to abide the MANY regulations and laws that apply including:
- Liquor Licensing and Responsible Service of Alcohol
- Food Safety
- Workplace Health and Safety
- Building & Fire Safety Laws
- And thousands of others Laws that apply
In order to deliver the highest quality customer experience, it’s a wise idea to decide the RULES for your event venue & communicate them to any potential clients before the event.
Here is a great list of just some useful Terms & Conditions that you can implement to run your function events and minimise risk.
CHECKLIST of Terms & Conditions for a Venue
- BOOKINGS, DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS – Room Hire, Paid in advance, Bar Tab End of night
- FUNCTION HOURS – Time Limits & Closing Times
- MINIMUM SPEND / MINIMUM GUESTS
- FINAL NUMBERS & ORDERING FOOD – 72 hrs before?
- LIQUOR LICENCE RULES & RSA – Last drinks
- CANCELLATIONS OR POSTPONEMENTS – Deposits, Further Deposits and Refunds
- ROOM CAPACITY – Overcrowding
- LINEN & DECORATIONS – Balloons and streamers OK
- SECURITY – Who provides and pays for Security guards?
- PARENTAL SUPERVISION – AGE I.D. required – Kids with parents / must leave by…
- BEVERAGE PURCHASES – Bar tab, Individual or included
- BYO POLICY & FOOD – Rules about Bringing own food or drinks – charging Cakage?
- DECORATIONS DAMAGE – Surface Damage, Confetti, Glitter, Scatter – Do you have a Cleaning charge
- ENTERTAINMENT – Bump in, Meals, Arrangements, Noise Limits
- AV SYSTEM – Built in, usage, microphones
- PRICE & MENU VARIATIONS – may happen without notice
- FUNCTION CONDUCT – Responsibility & Liability – Property Damage & Behaviour – refuse entry, compliance
- BUCKS & HENS PARTIES RULES or NOT ALLOWED
- “FAMILY FRIENDLY” RULE – No Nudity, Violence or Profanity e.g. Strippers?
- SMOKING AREAS & RULES
- CAR PARKING, TAXIS and PUBLIC TRANSPORT
- UNFORESEEN CIRCUMSTANCES / ACTS OF GOD – Limited liability for fire, flood etc
NOTE – One of the biggest issues Clients have with venues is usually around deposits and the cancellation or postponement of the event. Please make sure that your agreement is absolutely clear about all the conditions around the deposits.
Disclaimer – This is NOT a full list of all the Terms & Conditions that you can have in your Event agreement but it’s a good start. Please consult your Industry Association for a standard Agreement or your own Lawyer for a customised one.
ABOUT THE BLOG AUTHOR – David Staughton CSP CCEO
Big Hat Professional Services can help you grow your hospitality business and improve your Function Event & Wedding Sales. David & Kevin can help you!
David Staughton CSP is an award-winning International keynote speaker, and experienced Small Business consultant. With over 15 years ‘hands on’ experience in the Hospitality industry, he speaks and consults on a wide range of hospitality business improvement in the areas of sales, staffing, service and strategy.
Kevin Kosky is a skilled business communications trainer. He is a specialist on inbound phone skills, presentation skills and delivering sales presentations. Kevin is an expert teacher of face to face communication skills like sales, supervision, and presentation skills.
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