How to run a walk

I was asked for advice on running a walk in Birmingham. Since I do this quite often, here's what I do.

Obviously I Am Not A Layer and I'd welcome any feedback or advice.

  1. Get personal liability insurance. This isn’t scary - if you join Artists Network it’s included.

  2. Do a risk assessment. Again, this isn’t scary. Just think about what could reasonably go wrong (eg, people stepping into road to take photos and getting run over) and how you might mitigate that (tell people not to do this at the beginning of the walk).

  3. Do a safety run-down at the beginning of the walk. Explain what’s going to happen and where it will end, so if people get lost they know where to go. Make sure everyone has your number. Etc.

  4. I always clearly give a disclaimer before we start. “While I’ve never had trouble, there is safely in numbers and this is a Sunday afternoon, be aware I cannot take responsibility for your personal safety or that of your equipment. Please stay within sight of the group and be aware of your surroundings.” This is mainly to remind them that have expensive cameras around their necks which can make them a target.

  5. Children under the age of 16 are welcome if accompanied by a paying adult. I won’t take unaccompanied minors, even with my DBS check. Not worth the hassle.

  6. I find I cannot do the people management thing while also doing the art thing. Admittedly my groups tend to drift and wander, but if you’re the "performer" consider getting an assistant whose job is simple to keep everyone together.

Above all, if you’re selling tickets it’s a different kettle of fish to asking people to join you on a ramble. Which is why you need insurance.

Mostly it’s “what can go wrong?” and “How can I minimise that?”