Legal Issues in Event Planning- Experts Speak


Successful event planning requires comprehensive pre-planning which comprises of both the obvious and foreseeable risks associated with an event along with the “what if” scenarios to deal with unforeseen contingencies which may hinder the success or failure of the event.

The complexity of the event organization incorporates for the legal issues to be addressed before, during and after the event. It is imperative that you seek professional legal advice before you begin planning for your event. This is required from a legal perspective because successful event planning begins with basic contractual principles including the drafting of agreements and contracts which are designed to define each party’s responsibility relating to the event but at the same time it also takes into account authority, liability, responsibility and other contingency planning to deal with unexpected occurrences.

At EE we hear out the legal complexities and its solutions from the horse’s mouth.

Vikaas Kalantri, White Leaf Entertainment Media Pvt. Ltd. says “I think the biggest issue that we face today is regarding the permissions in organizing an event. We have to take like 15 permissions at least in order to execute an event in Mumbai. Even if the event is held in a mall for a small promotion and we play sound we still need to take the police permission. The kind of permissions involved in doing an event today and the cost associated with it is massive and I feel it should be sincerely dealt with.”

The solution according to Vikaas is in having one window for all event clearances. Where in an event manager can simply apply based on the nature of the event to be executed by him and he should be granted the permission accordingly. Right now really it’s a struggle to do events especially in Mumbai. We have to go from door to door in order to get clearances. In fact the flipside is that if I want to do an event 3 days from now I can’t owe the rigorous permissions associated with the same.

Elucidating further on the issue Gaurav Dhall, M.D, T.I.C says, “In India, there are various kinds of taxes like entertainment tax, service tax, and income tax and lot many. For a law abiding person like me, it’s really difficult to do business because at the end compensation is much lower as compared to the hard work done. Moreover, multiple taxation also leads to an increase in the overall cost of an event, thus, putting a burden on a client’s budget. There has to be a fixed tax structure so that both parties are aware about the tax system.

He further added that the industry runs on word of mouth. There are no legal contracts as such between event companies and vendors. This affects the overall vendor management and their deliverables. We need professional contacts which are legally strong.

Talking about the solutions Mr. Dhall says, “We need government to fix slot of taxes, so that things become easier firstly. Just simplify tax structure and avoid red tapism is the need of the hour.

There should be better judicial structure so that anyone who breaches the contract faces the consequences. We also need a unified event management body that sticks to the principles, professional ethics and fight against mediocrity in event business practices.”

Elucidating further on the issue Rajeev Jain, MD, Rashi Entertainment says, “As event managers the major issues that we face are of licenses; namely PPL, IPRS & entertainment taxes.

Copyright issues, Intellectual Property Rights issues are few of the other legal hindrances.

Celebrity contracts are often a challenge. There’s an instance where an event is under progress and some celebrity has been hired to perform. However, the celebrity is unable to make it and issues like breach of agreement, indemnity and liquidated / un-liquidated damages etc. arises

He says the solution lies in having contracts with vendors, clients & other intermediaries penned down accurately and all clauses & terms should be clear to all the concerned parties.

He further adds, clauses with ‘force majeure’ or ‘Act of God’ are integral to our discussed terms & conditions with the clients

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