Law Office of Jason H. Rosenblum, PLLC

Intellectually Protecting Your Property ®

Important Legal Issues Around a Live Event

In September of this year I attended Ruth Sherman’s Charisma Live event to learn how to become a better speaker and presenter. In addition to benefiting from these events and putting them toward my own personal development, I always use these experiences to learn as much about the coaching industry so that I can better assist my clients.
At Ruth Sherman’s event I noticed a few things that I believe can be of benefit to any coach planning their own live event.  So, with Ruth’s encouragement and her challenge to all attendees, I whipped out my phone for a quick self-video post after the event. Here are the results:

To elaborate on the comments in the video:
Use registration and check-in at any event as a choke point for control:

  • Collect payment and/or refund seat deposit
  • Ensure General Release is signed (do not hand out workbooks, ID badges, etc. without first receiving a signed General Release)
  • General Release should cover the most important aspects*, but it should not be too long or it will slow down the check-in
  • Post signs that the event will be recorded, photographed, etc.
  • Post signs noting a place to answer questions
  • Have sign-up sheets for any offers if you do not have a back-of-the-room sales point

*A General Release for an event should include at least the following:

  • Media Release – this is a release of rights and grants the use of the attendees’ image or likeness and a release of any intellectual property created by them.  This allows you to use the video, audio, and photos from the event, as well as any content that they add to the event without payment of any royalties or having to worry that an attendee having grounds to request you to edit them out.
  • Release of Liability – if your event has any physical activities, including asking attendees to walk up on stage or to a mic, you should include a provision that they assume the risk and responsibility for any injury.  You should still maintain insurance, which the event space will most likely require.
  • Intellectual Property and Confidential Information Notice – protect your material. You have invested time and money to create the handouts, workbooks, and content, and it is solely for the use of those that attend. Make sure that attendees and others involved know that they do not have the right or permission to make copies and/or share the material with others.  You may choose to limit the ability to take photos, videos, or audio recordings of the event.
  • Results Not Guaranteed – Past results afford no guarantee of future results; each participant’s situation is different and the client’s results applying your advice will be based on many factors outside of your control, most importantly the effort the client makes.