Events often have hundreds of vendors, which means that large crowds around your booth are imminent. With large crowds comes an increased risk of accidents. Let’s talk about the safety measures you need to take as a vendor to make sure that you minimize that risk.
1. Get all the Event Info
Each event has unique rules and regulations about booth size, placement, material and more. Making sure that you are compliant will make your booth a safer place and provide the first layer of protection in the case of a lawsuit.
2. Keep Your Booth Tidy
With hundreds and sometimes thousands of people going in and out of your booth, things can get a little messy. If a customer were to drop a necklace on the ground and another customer were to trip on it, you could be held liable. If you were found responsible then you would be on the hook for any medical bills, legal fees, or lost wages because of their injury.
Make sure your booth stays clean and tidy throughout the day. Sweeping as needed to remove any debris or garbage from your booth will help minimize risk.
3. Extension Cords
As you are planning your booth setup, keep in mind anything that may cause a safety hazard. Extension cords should be tucked behind tables and not in the walkway. If someone were to trip on an extension cord and be injured then you could be held liable. Simply taping an extension cord down on asphalt is not enough, because it doesn’t eliminate the tripping hazard.
4. Side Walls
Side walls are required in some shows and are a good idea when planning a safe booth because walls offer some protection from the elements. If a gust of wind blew in your booth and knocked one of your pieces of art over and it hit someone, you may be responsible for any injuries. Make sure, however, that any walls you use are secured in place and won’t fall.
5. Tent Material
When you’re buying your tent, make sure the tent fabric is flameproof. Shows may require it, but it is a great idea to minimize the risk of burns. If your booth is next to a candle booth and one of their candles falls and hits your tent, a non-flameproof tent would catch fire and could burn anyone inside.
6. Booth Flooring
If you use flooring for your booth, make sure all the pieces fit together firmly and inspect them throughout the event. If pieces separate and create a hole where someone's foot could trip, you can be held liable. When you choose flooring, make sure it’s a very smooth, non-slip surface. Your flooring should be user-friendly for all customers, including those using canes and wheelchairs.
7. Signs and Banners
Signs and banners should be placed high enough that no one could run into them as they are entering or exiting your booth. If you have vertical banners, make sure to position them out of the way of people walking. The risk of a lawsuit from someone running into or tripping over your banners is too high to not be cautious. Some shows ban certain banner materials, so make sure you check with the event organizers before registering for an event.
8. Tent Safety
One of the most common accidents that vendors encounter is from the wind. We receive thousands of dollars worth of claims every year caused by tents blowing into other vendor's booths or damaging art.
You need to secure your tent so that it doesn’t blow away and injure anyone or their property. The first step should be to check with the event that you’re attending about their regulations. For example, some events do not allow cinder blocks because they can be a tripping hazard. If you are able to set up your tent on the ground, then large stakes may be a possibility. If you are allowed to use stakes, make sure you can stake the legs of the canopy directly. Make sure any ropes you use will be out of the way and not cause a tripping hazard.
9. Vendor Insurance
There are no precautions you can take that will completely eliminate the chance of being held responsible for an injury or property damage. To protect your business, you need a way to transfer that risk onto a third-party. That’s where insurance comes in.
If you are taken to court because someone tripped over your tent or because a display fell on them, insurance may cover the legal fees and damages. Even if you aren’t found liable defending yourself in court can be very expensive.
ACT Insurance provides coverage to vendors such as artists, crafters, tradesmen, and many more. With policies designed from the ground up to provide coverage for the many risks vendors are exposed to everytime they set up at an event.