Holding an event on private land can be a fun and rewarding occasion for everyone involved. However, as the event organiser, you may feel uncertain about how or where to start.
What to consider when holding an event on private land
Choosing the right location
The first step to consider is how to choose the right location for your event. For instance, will you be holding an event on your own land or are you looking to hire someone else’s? When choosing the location, several factors need to be considered such as size, accessibility, neighbouring properties and of course, whether it has the necessary facilities and amenities to accommodate the needs of the attendees. It’s also important to look at potential hazards on the site (e.g., a pond or lake could be dangerous if there are small children running around), and whether the land is suitable for vehicles, marquees, crowds, etc.
If you can't find any suitable private land to hold your event, it may be worth investigating holding your event in a public park instead. Read our guide on how to hold an event in a park to find out more.
Obtaining permission to hold an event on private land
Landowners would normally be expected to give the event organiser permission to use their land through a licence to occupy. This grants temporary use of land, for a specific period and for the purpose of the event in question. Obtaining permission in writing is always strongly advised so there is recorded evidence of the agreement if required further down the line.
For large public events, the event organiser or landowner will need to obtain permission from the local authority who will take into account factors such as disturbance to neighbours, traffic congestion, fire hazards, water supply, etc. They will also be keen to ensure you have the right insurance policies in place.
While there is no legal requirement for landowners to inform neighbours of a forthcoming event on their property, it is advisable to check early on in the process that are no covenants restricting use of the land which people in neighbouring properties could enforce by obtaining an injunction to stop the event. As an act of courtesy, it is always wise to let local residents know about the event well in advance, allowing sufficient time to address any concerns they may have before the event takes place.
Budgeting for the event
There will be a variety of costs associated with holding an event on private land, so it’s important to create a budget plan to determine how much can be allocated to each area. This might include venue rental fees, refreshments, equipment rental, insurance and any necessary permits or licenses. It is also advisable to set aside a contingency fund to cover unexpected expenses which may arise during the event. Be sure to keep track of all expenses and receipts, and regularly check your expenditure to ensure you are within budget.
Advertising your event
Depending on the nature of your event, you might need to consider how you will attract attendees. This may involve using social media platforms to reach a wide audience, or perhaps an email campaign sent to a targeted email list.
Offline marketing tactics might include placing posters and flyers in relevant locations (although be careful here as there are laws against fly-posting), advertising in local newspapers and magazines, and reaching out to community organisations to spread the word about the event. Consider creating a marketing plan that factors in the target audience, budget and objectives for the event in order to effectively promote your event and attract a large turnout.
Completing a risk assessment for your event
Even though you are holding the event on private land, as the event organiser, it is your responsibility to conduct a thorough risk assessment to ensure that all potential risks and hazards have been identified. The process for undertaking a risk assessment is as follows:
Identify the potential hazards associated with the event
Assess the likelihood and consequences of each hazard occurring
Evaluate the current controls in place to mitigate the risk associated with each hazard
Determine if additional controls are required to mitigate the risk
Prioritize the risks based on the level of severity
Develop a plan to manage the identified risks
Continuously monitor and review the risks during the event and make adjustments as necessary
Document the risk assessment process and any decisions made
Once you have completed the risk assessment, ensure a copy is made available to all organisers and staff working at the event.
Taking out public liability insurance
Whilst it isn’t a legal obligation to have public liability insurance for your event on private land, it’s strongly recommended that you have insurance in place should an incident or accident occur and someone makes a claim against you. From trips and slips to damaged facilities or equipment, anything could happen, so it’s important to make sure you’re protected. Here at Event Insurance, we have public liability insurance policies to suit a wide range of events, all designed to protect you should the worst come to the worst. Our insurance will cover you for:
Accidental bodily injury to a member of the public
Accidental death of a member of the public
Accidental damage to third-party property
Accidental loss to third-party property
You may also wish to consider the following types of insurance:
Event equipment - covers accidental damage, loss or theft of any equipment that you’ve hired, leased or owned for the event
Employers liability - covers you if anyone working at the event (paid or unpaid) is injured as a result of your negligence as event organiser
Event cancellation - covers you if your event on private land cannot go ahead due to reasons outside your control. This includes unforeseen adverse weather conditions (which is always a possibility given the unpredictable British climate!)
Ready to hold your event?
We hope you’ve found our guide on how to hold an event on private land useful and everything runs smoothly on the big day. That said, it’s always wise to expect the unexpected. Our insurance cover is designed to provide peace of mind when things don’t go according to plan, allowing you to focus on what’s really important - running a great event! So if you’re planning on holding one event or multiple events, our team of specialist advisors can help find the right public liability policy for you. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help protect your event.