Voluntary Sector Support Guidance
Preventing undesirable bookings
Follow the steps below to mitigate the risk of undesirable bookings. This document is not a definitive list and should be used in conjunction with other checking mechanisms.
Questions to ask before agreeing to a booking
About the individual or organisation making a booking
- Ask for their name and any associated names they operate under
- Ask for their address and a phone number
- Get details of the individual or organisation’s website and associated websites
Equality and diversity
- Does the individual or organisation implement a policy that promotes equality and diversity and challenges all forms of discrimination?
- If not, will they agree to their event subscribing to your equality and diversity policy?
Ask for details of the event including:
- expected audience numbers and demographics
- details of how the event will be promoted (ask for copies of flyers/posters etc.)
- is the event open to the public or ticket only?
Make sure you undertake due diligence to confirm what you've been told and find out more.
Checks and research
Run a check on the individual or organisation or speakers. When researching an organisation, carry out the following:
- view their websites, articles or speeches
- where possible use primary evidence for your research - an organisation’s manifesto or a person speaking
- consider what other people are saying about the organisation and speakers. Look at articles and blogs
- when you are looking at a website, check if it’s being kept up-to-date
- if you are unsure about an organisation, check if it has a landline number and business address
Ask for a reference from a venue provider previously used by the individual or organisation.
Check the charity number
If the booking is for a charity, check the charity number of the organisation online at the
Charity Commission website.
Top tips when taking bookings
- If the booking is being arranged by an event management or another company, make sure you know who their client is
- Be wary of individuals only giving mobile numbers
- If enquiries are made about internet use and bandwidth, investigate whether any speakers are participating in the event remotely
- Be wary of individuals/organisations making large cash payments
- Ensure that in the event of reputational risk to your organisation you have the ability to withdraw from the contract
What to do if you're concerned about a booking
It is unlikely that your venue would be used for criminal or extremist purposes, but for reasons of public safety and your own reputational risk, it is better to remain vigilant. Below are some links you may find useful in making the appropriate checks and/or raising concerns.
- GOV.UK: A list of terrorist groups or organisations banned under UK law
- The Charity Commission
- If you still have a concern about a booking, contact your local authority