Is it common to ask event staff to sign non-disclosure agreements?

Following the furore around the Presidents Club story, I thought it would be interesting to look at it from the perspective of the event planner. If you were asked to organise an event for rich and powerful men where the staff had to sign non-disclosure agreements (not to mention wear matching underwear), what would you say to the client? Shouldn’t it have set alarm bells ringing or is this normal when working with high profile clients?

Hmm…I’ve signed many NDAs but in relation to confidentiality around the marketing activity, finances etc. rather than the event content. I don’t have a problem with not talking about the content of an event per se but inappropriate behaviour by guests regardless of gender, background, etc. at any event is wholly unacceptable. In the role of event manager I would have assumed the NDAs were in place to ensure the privacy of the high profile guests attending the event not to give them carte blanche to grope my team.

The underwear clause would definitely have rung alarm bells. Assuming the event organiser knew what kind of event it was, was he/she upfront with the staff when he/she signed them up as to what to expect? Would the staff have taken the work anyway because they needed the money? I don’t think that makes their treatment acceptable and I wonder where the associated charities now sit on this.

I suspect there are many more events of this nature and the publicity might even lead to an increase in demand for tickets for future events.

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Yes, I wonder how far an NDA goes in terms of protecting guests? I understand the need for discretion when you have high profile attendees, but on the flip side it could make staff feel unable to disclose inappropriate behaviour.

Members may be interested in this forthcoming event which looks at exploitation and harassment in the industry: EventHuddle: The Exploitation & Sexualisation Annhiliation

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