Intellectual Property – The Events Industry Association’s Position
The Events Industry Association has seen a rise in the number of members and industry operators querying what constitutes intellectual property and how they can protect themselves.
The position of the Association is that event organisers should respect the work of suppliers (and vice versa) and there should be limits placed on what information can and should be distributed.
We feel that once a supplier has been engaged, the relationship between that supplier and the organiser has elements of confidentiality attached. For example:
Suppliers’ quotes are confidential. Event organisers do not have the right to take the quote, often containing information gathered from meetings, site surveys, discussions with industry experts and past experience, and pass that quote to a competitor to obtain a comparison quote.
An example of this would be a quote for audio equipment. The quote would show the organiser what the audio company deems the right amount of equipment, the capacity to reach a certain audience, labour rates and positioning of equipment.
Event management proposals are creative content and therefore confidential. End user clients do not have the right to share a creative proposal with third parties as this constitutes a breach in intellectual property. The proposal would often contain quotes from suppliers who give special consideration or discounts to event managers with whom they have a relationship.
An example of this would be the end user/client asking “We’re holding a 25 year company celebration – our budget is $10,000. What can you do for us”. The quote would contain event logistics, creative components, quotes from suppliers and other relevant information – all part of the event manager’s suite of tools.
What Does the Association Plan To Do?
We are developing an information pack that will be distributed to all state and local government authorities outlining the concerns of the industry and why we need to keep our information confidential or within a controlled group.
We believe that many end users who share information with third parties do so without understanding the consequences both physical and financial to the developers of the initial information.
A series of information sessions is being developed to assist suppliers and event managers to assist them to write contracts that protect their property.
We will be seeking government assistance to get the message out to the wider community that this practise is not acceptable, is dangerous and is further damaging the businesses that spend years building up their skills, experience and talent.