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Ramoji Film City.jpg
Ramoji Film City was the site of the Vistex event.

Tech Company Celebration Ends in Tragedy

It’s easy to get complacent about meeting safety. However, a casualty in mid-January serves as an awful reminder that planners, production companies, and venues need the highest possible standards and diligence.

At an event in India to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Illinois-based technology firm Vistex, the company’s founder and CEO, Sanjay Shah, and its president, Raju Datla, were set to make a grand entrance. But as they were being lowered onto the ballroom stage in an iron cage before about 680 people, a cable supporting the cage snapped.

The executives fell about 20 feet, a tragedy caught on video and shared widely through the media. Shah died from his injuries, and Datla is reported to be in critical condition.

The accident happened at Ramoji Film City, a film studio and tourist destination near Hyderabad. According to an article in Indian Express, no arrests have been made but “management of Ramoji Film City, the event-management company, and others responsible for the safe conduct of the event” are being questioned.

When it comes to staging issues, planners may assume the production company has it under control, while the production company may assume the venue’s infrastructure is solid. But what are your risk-management policies and procedures? Two important elements to protect your organization are indemnification clauses in your contracts with suppliers as well as requirements that they all have insurance, according to Barbara Dunn, partner at Barnes and Thornburg LLP, in “Managing Your Top 3 Legal Contract Challenges.”

Further Reading
Protecting Your Event with Contracts and Insurance
11 Lessons on Negotiating with Convention Centers
Understanding Indemnification



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