Responsibilities of and Guidelines for event Point Person(s)
Responsibilities of and Guidelines for Event Point Persons
The point person is responsible for the relationship with the people leasing the space, ensuring they follow the contract they've signed, and facilitating their use of the space.
Things needed to be a Point Person
- Subscribe to both the Booking mailing list (where event requests are sent) as well as the Commons mailing list (where event requests and space issues are discussed).
- An account on our event reservation site as well as our calendar and training on how to use it.
- To have participated in the Commons working group long enough, and have assisted other point people with events enough, to know how events work at the Omni.
- Attending at least one working group meeting a month. Meetings are (as of Aug 2019) held every 2nd and 4th Monday at 5pm
Principles to follow
- Communicate with the working group to keep the process as transparent as possible or if you are unsure about anything. Update them about events at the meetings or send an email to the mailing list. You can also write any information you would like the group to know on the riseup etherpad where the working group takes its meeting notes.
- In your negotiations with lessee consider our event criteria, if they are a group with resources or with few resources, their nonprofit vs for-profit organizational status (we must charge market rate to for-profits) and how much money they expect to make on the event.
- We prioritize and approve events based upon the following criteria:
- How much volunteer time will be needed to produce the event
- How consistent the event is with our Values
- Working with the group or individual has the potential to lead to ongoing relationships between the Omni and other aligned organizations or communities
- How much money the event will bring in.
- How much the event will benefit the community
Events & Booking Overview
Once the event has been approved by the working group, it will need to be assigned a point person. The general tasks of the point person are:
- Negotiate the cost and details of the event and sign a contract with the lessee.
- Make sure the lessee receives an invoice, pays their deposit / hourly event staff / and/or hourly fees
- Ensure lessee obtains necessary insurance, permits, and/or security before the event.
- Attend the event and assist the lessee with the space. This usually includes making sure the space and associated bathrooms are reasonably clean and stocked before the event, and that the lessee cleans up and takes away their trash at the end of the event. You may enlist other Omni volunteers to assist if needed.
- Volunteers should limit themselves to being the point person for no more than four events per month.
- Only take on events that you can attend.
Each event is unique. To work out the details of a contract:
- The point person should set up a time to communicate with the lessee to learn about their organization, their ability to pay, and the specific needs of their event.
- Based upon this information, check to make sure the room they have requested is appropriate for their event, that it is available, and that we can provide the help they need on that day (a sound tech, for example). Most of the details you need to work out are dealt with in the long event contract. Read it.
- You may use the short event contract and waiver (link) in place of the long contract for one-time events with less than 50 participants, that are quiet and end before 10pm, and that have no AV or other needs. Examples of this are one-time meetings or classes in one of the smaller rooms, or a rehearsal in the disco room. Do not use a short contract for any event that requires insurance or is serving alcohol.
The More Complicated Issues You Will Need to Resolve
The cost of the rental
We offer the use of space on a sliding scale basis. We try to balance our need to bring in income with having great events and providing event space for groups and individuals who would otherwise not have access to space.
- The ballroom is one of our main sources of income. We would like to make a minimum of $1000 for weekend nights, and at least $500 during the rest of the week. That said, important events that won't bring in money through admission charges may be requested by groups without signficant resources. We also get requests from organizations and individuals who do have resources and for events that will bring in a lot of money through admission fees. The job of the point person is to work out what is a reasonable amount for the renter to pay for the kind of event they are having.
- You can offer a couple of different ways for the renter to pay for their event: up-front payment of an agreed-upon amount; a percentage share of the income from admissions/ticket sales; or a combination of both. The first is much easier to manage.
- When negotiating the cost of the rental, state clearly to the renter that our monthly expenses at the Omni are $16-20,000 and that event rentals are one of our main sources of income. Explain that our scale/the price we charge takes into consideration the alignment of the event with our mission, the wealth of the individual/organization holding the event, the amount of space the event will use, the amount of income the event will generate; and the amount of labor and equipment Omni will provide. Also state the amount that we like to get for the room they are using, and explain that we are willing to include a cut of the door or ticket sales (if there will be admission charged). Then ask them what they can offer.
- When you reach an agreement the first few times or if you have any doubts, tell the renter you need to run it by the Commons Working Group before you can finalize the contract. Then check in to see if there is consensus that the agreement is reasonable.
Many events that would like to serve or sell alcohol must get an Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Event Permit (Form ABC-221).
- An ABC event permit is NOT required if ALL of the following are true.
- The event is private and they have a list of their guests.
- They restrict access to ONLY guests.
- The host is providing all of the alcohol.
- All drinks are free, i.e. a hosted bar with no tips.
- There is no admission cost for the event, i.e. no ticket price, donation or door charge.
The lessee may want to find out how to have alcohol at their events so they can raise money. Familiarize yourself with the information at the link above and be firm in explaining that we have to follow the law in this matter. Serving or selling alcohol without a license is a misdemeanor with a penalty of a $1000 fine and/or 6 months in the county jail.
Events will need to obtain one-time event insurance if any of the following are true:
- More that 200 people are expected at the event
- There is amplified music and the event will end after 10pm
- There will be any unaccompanied minors
- Any potential hazards are involved (dancing, exercise classes, chemicals, sharp objects, fumes)
- Alcohol will be served
Event insurance can be obtained through theventhelper.com. This site gives online quotes and the staff is actually helpful if you call them. Non-profit organizations' insurance policies may include events coverage. They should check with their insurance agent before calling Event Helper.
Event policies need the following:
- General liability up to $1 million per occurrence and $2 million aggregate
- Omni Commons must be listed as additional named insured, and the address provided: 4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
- Omni Commons must be named on a Waiver of Subrogation
- If the event will have alcohol, liquor liability coverage is also required. At this time only HOST coverage applies to events (not retail, as we cannot get the required permit to sell alcohol at events)
Lessees must provide a copy of the certificate of insurance so you can verify that it meets the above requirements. Include this in the file with the event contract.
Sound and Audio-visual equipment
Refer to the list of audio visual equipment we have available on our website.
- If the lessee wants to use Omni sound equipment beyond a simple setup (e.g. if they want the Meyer or Peavey sound systems in the Ballroom), they must hire one of the people who have been trained to use that system. We hope there will be a production collective that will handle all this at sometime in the future, but until then you will just provide the names of those folks and the lessee should contact them and negotiate their fee with them directly.
- Let the Commons Working Group know if you would like to be trained on any equipment.
Advertising the Event
Make sure the lessee understands that they must share with you any invitation or event publicity for your review. Check that the publicity doesn't contain any language we don't want to be associated with (racist, ableist, profanity, etc), and doesn't make the Omni appear to be sponsoring an event that we aren't.
For recurring events, please keep in mind:
- We cannot make unending reservations. Recurring events must have an end date when, if the lessee desires, we can review it at the end of a specific time period to decide if we want the event to continue. The working group should agree to any ongoing event arrangements.
- Use the same criteria as a 1-time event for deciding how much to charge the lessee.
- When scheduling a recurring event, be considerate of high-traffic times. Is this recurring event something that will take up space in place of other potential uses that may be more aligned with our values or may benefit people in the community more?
The /Occupy website and Omni Calendar system
- The Omni Commons calendar (omnicommons.org/calendar) includes all events held by all of the member collectives and all space rentals. The calendar works by synching once a day with the calendars of the member collectives (such as Sudo Room and Bay Area Public School), and the calendar where event rentals are scheduled, adding or deleting events and updating any other changes that have been made.
- Space requests are made at omnicommons.org/occupy. The form creates a draft event at omnicommons.org/calendar.
- The contract forms are filled out online at omnicommons.org/occupy. Once completed, the renter can sign them using their mouse or trackpad. Follow up after you have sent it to make sure it has been received.
- When someone makes an event request via /occupy, an email is sent to the listserv firstname.lastname@example.org. In general, everyone who is a point person for events should be on that list to see all the requests and get an idea of which events they would like to take on.
- The wordpress site is fairly easy to use. Ask someone who is familiar with it to show you if you have questions. As you update the event request entry on /occupy, keep in mind it is one of the main ways the commons working group can see what is going on with an event. Try to edit it so that someone else looking at the page will understand the status of the event. Another thing to pay attention to is how the event will appear on the calendar when you publish it. Make sure the description that is publicily visible is accurate and doesn't contain communication intended for the working group. If you have a suggestion about how to make the site work better, please let the working group know.