Legal Needs for Live Events and Retreats

Legal Needs For Live Events and Retreats in 2023


I don’t know about you, but I feel like my theme of 2023 is going to be TOGETHER.

I’m ready to gather. I’m ready to meet in person. I’m ready to brainstorm and plan with my AWB firm team at an upcoming retreat. I’m scoping out events to attend next year.  

And I know I’m not alone. Many of our clients are starting to plan events for next year. Maybe you’re hoping to host your own this year as well?

If so, I’d love you to start thinking about what you’ll need. There’s A LOT to think about… and the sooner you start, the better prepared you’ll be!

Here’s just some of the legal prep you’ll want to do to get ready to throw an event in 2023:

Photo Release For Attendees:

If your event is going to have a photographer or videographer, or even if you’re just planning to take photos with your phone, you want to make sure you have permission to use those event photos in your future marketing. If your attendees' faces are shown, you must have their permission to use those images. Make sure you ask your attendees to sign a photo or model release so you’re in the clear to use the fabulous imagery you’ll capture at your event!

Photo License:

You can also include a photo license in the agreement, which allows you, the organizer, to use photos that your attendees post on their own social media, in your marketing and communications. This is great if your attendees will be sharing their experience with the world and you’d like to capitalize on that!

Participant Release and Indemnification Provision:

It's a good idea to have attendees sign a release (preferably crafted by an attorney to make sure it is compliant with your state and local laws) for your event. I definitely suggest this if you’re going to be serving alcohol or doing any kind of physical activity (think: yoga class or dance parties). Basically, this can help protect you should anyone get hurt, assuming you weren’t actively putting folks in harm’s way.

Copyright notice:

Include this in all of your attendee agreements to note that you own all the copyrights to your even content. Here, you’ll let people know what they can and can't do with it. So can they share it with a friend or is it just for their personal use? Can they put it on the internet? Can they resell it?  Be clear and make sure that your attendees understand.

Sponsorship Agreements:

If you have brands contributing monetarily or with goods for swag, etc., you’ll need a contract to make sure there is agreement about exactly what you’re giving in exchange for those sponsorship dollars and items, and so the sponsor knows what’s required of them. 

Speaker Agreements:

If you've got people coming to speak at you’re event, whether you're paying them or not, again, it's just a great idea to get it in writing what you expect of them. If you require them to give you materials or things by a certain date, if they have to do a PowerPoint, just whatever you're requiring of them, um, put it in writing  so the expectation is really clear.


Whew! That’s quite a list, right? So how on earth do you get started with all of this? 

Many of these agreements can be found in our contract template shop  right here

And if you’re looking for more personal guidance and custom agreements just for your event, we’re currently booking our collaborative Legal To Scale™️ experiences. We can help you walk through your entire event, along with the pre-event marketing and post-event follow-up to find all of your potential liabilities and craft a legal to-do list. Then we get to work for you! 

For more info, and to apply for one of these sessions, click here. (But quick, we’re booking up fast!)