Three Scenarios That Might Require Online Waivers

McCarl_three_scenarios_that_might_require_online_waivers December 20, 2021 By: Daryl McCarl

While the pandemic has brought liability waivers to the forefront, there are many situations where they can be helpful. Here’s a look at three situations when your association might benefit from having online waivers.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all signed a waiver—whether it was to enter an extra scary haunted house, or more recently, to confirm we were aware of COVID-19 risks at an event.

Waivers often seem like a formality, but they are crucial for protecting your organization. Waivers can be applied to prevent legal issues and to help improve processes like kiosk sign-in at events. We’ll cover these three scenarios that need online waivers in more detail: Pandemic-era events, adventure or experience events, and conference activities.

Pandemic-Era Events

While your organization and many of your members may feel ready to return to in-person events, it’s still important to consider the legal questions around hosting in-person gatherings.

We suggest creating COVID-19 liability waivers using an online waiver platform. This guide to online waiver software providers explores the options. COVID-19 liability waivers should:

  • Use clear language.
  • Accurately inform guests of all risks.
  • Adhere to state and local requirements.

There are several risks your guest should clearly understand, including the highly contagious nature of the virus, possible ways a person can become infected, and risks they take by entering your event. We also recommend that you consult with a lawyer or an insurance company when creating your waivers to ensure you cover all bases.

Adventure or Experience Events

You may be planning a fun team-building event to get everyone excited and involved after many months of not being able to be together physically. This is an excellent idea to, but you may need to ensure you’re not liable if any gets injured.

Whether you’re going zip-lining or exploring underground pools, digital waivers in the adventure industry are crucial to having fun. This is, of course, important if you’re inviting your members. With waivers, you not only protect your association from legal liabilities, but you also show your members that you're putting forth an effort to be transparent.

Conference Activities

There are many different situations that may arise during a conference that could require a waiver. Waivers can focus on liability concerns or simply obtain permissions. A few examples of conference-related waivers and permissions include:

  • Any injuries during the conference. Because you don’t have control over the actions of your attendees, liability waivers in case of injury are a very good idea. Especially if alcoholic drinks will be served or be available for purchase during your conference, it’s important to be prepared for easily avoidable situations that could arise.
  • Usage rights for photos of members during the event. If this is your main conference of the year, you likely want to be able to use photos to advertise for future years. To avoid any legal troubles, you should be sure to get permission from all of your attendees in writing at the beginning of the conference. This way, you can use any photos on social media without worrying.
  • Harassment that may occur between attendees. Hopefully, this will never be a concern for your association. However, if it were to occur, whether between members or volunteers, you don’t want to be held responsible for the actions of individuals.

When it comes to conferences with many guests, it’s essential to have all of the proper waivers and get them signed by all participants before starting the conference. Online waiver software can help streamline the process, make it easier for you to always have a waiver ready to be signed, and improve your data collection. Good luck.

Daryl McCarl

Daryl McCarl is the director of business development at Smartwaiver in Bend, Oregon.