"What's up with you guys (SNAG) not allowing pop up shows in conference hotel rooms? Why do you even care?"
This is one of the questions I get asked fairly frequently as a representative for SNAG. I fully understand the field's desire to hold pop up shows at our conferences (everybody and their neighbor is attending, this is a good opportunity to show work, and these events are fun,) BUT there are important reasons why this cannot and should not happen. Here they are in a nutshell:
----Liability – if you are hosting a pop-up show in a hotel room, you become liable for any potential injury that could happen in that room, including damages to the hotel room itself, its walls, and any amenities in the room. Individuals do not often carry personal liability insurance and because of that, the HOTEL cannot support hotel room sales. SNAG has a contract with the hotel that explicitly forbids these events and if they happen we are in breech of contract.
----Taxes/Business License – The City of New Orleans (our next conference location) is very strict in regards to possessing a business license and paying sales tax if you are to sell anything within the city. There will be someone on site, from the city, most of the conference checking to make sure everyone who is selling work has this.
----Noise – The Sheraton Hotel has a variety of guests with various sleeping needs and the extra noise of having large groups in your room can be disturbing to other hotel guests. The Sheraton asks that we respect this and do not host large group events in our hotel rooms without their prior knowledge.
----If you host a pop-up show, the hotel security has the right to shut down your sale and ask you to vacate your hotel room for the remainder of your stay. You will also be responsible for any and all damages to the room and everything in it.
----Security – Selling your work in a hotel room can lead to security and safety issues such as money and work being stolen, having strangers in your hotel room, etc.
SNAG does purchase a business license and liability insurance for all who participate in conference sponsored events. We even rented an extra 3500 sq foot ballroom ($$ cost on us!) where everybody is invited to rent space. If you are participating in any those events, you will be covered and SNAG will handle all sales transactions. If you have any questions or need clarification on any of this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I anticipate that some people will be surprised/angry/disillusioned/unhappy with this SNAG policy, but I hope that stating the reasons will do all the convincing that's needed.