Meeting liability Featured

8:24am EDT February 27, 2003
You plan a corporate meeting to achieve specific goals, like solving problems, establishing better business relationships or exploring opportunities.

The last thing you want is for someone to get hurt.

But what if your best customer slips on the ice on the way into the conference center? What if your speaker falls off the stage on the way to the podium? What if a buffet table collapses and injures one of your employees?

These are all things you hope don't happen, but what if they do? Did you ask about the conference center's liability coverage before the event? Did you check your own coverage?

"Read the fine print in the contract," says Jan Conrad, general manager of the Shisler Conference Center. "Any credible facility will already have addressed the issue."

Once you've confirmed the meeting site has liability coverage, check your own business insurance and talk to your agent about any potential loopholes that would leave you vulnerable at an off-site meeting.

In most cases, the conference center's insurance and your own insurance will protect you, but if you are doing something out of the ordinary, such as having an event at a motor speedway or other high-risk location, you might want to purchase additional insurance.

"It all depends on the group and what type of event you are holding," says Kelly Moir, manager of meeting and event operation for Conferon. "When you reach 1,000 attendees, you'll want to purchase some sort of additional liability coverage to protect yourself. This is also when you should look at purchasing some sort of event cancellation insurance.

"After 9/11, there were millions of dollars that were lost that would have been covered if the groups had had the right insurance." How to reach: www.shislercenter.ohio-state.edu, (330) 287-1486; www.conferon.com, (330) 425-8333