I would like to host an ice cream social in my neighborhood park. This is where I would provide free ice cream to people who have completed a survey I am conducting. I was "thinking" of charging others, who did not take the survey. Seems pretty easy...I rent an ice cream cart and serve people myself or I higher one of the ice cream merchants out here to have their employee do it (since they are already licensed for this type of thing). After looking on my city`s website, it appears that I will need to apply for a special event permit (not a problem) proof of insurance (okay now this sounds like it could be quite pricey) and some other stuff (now I am going down a slippery slope).
For those of you who have done a similar type of promotion (proving free goodies and such in a public park) did you research all the info regarding to your locality and comply with everything? I just posted a similar (and more lengthily) post on the Marketing Forum. I would like to know how a small, modest business (that has not earned a dime yet) can afford to comply with all that is required from a locality. There is a local church in my area that has cook outs and stuff for the neighborhood, in the neighborhood park. However, they are a non profit organization and don`t have to apply to the same things I would (even though the event I am conducting will likely be free to everyone). I have a feeling that the church does not have insurance when they do these things (I could be wrong). I certainly know they don`t have police officers, fire trucks, and such standing by like bigger venues. But when I look at my localities site, it seems like one would have to arrange for these things when conducting a special event.
Any thoughts on how to go about this, not get fined, and not end up spending all my money, which will defeat the purpose of a grass roots start up?