While risk management practices have improved and evolved over time, gaps still exist for a majority of companies in a variety of functional areas — sometimes unknowingly.
A recent survey of event planners reveals that only 45 percent of companies have policies in place to support the risk associated with meetings and conferences. The numbers not only indicate that more than half of companies are falling short in their responsibility, but they should also serve as a reminder that periodic policy review is wise to verify that coverage is appropriate.
The lack of such programs is not always intentional, however. The survey indicates that some meeting planners were led to believe other company polices, processes and/or procedures covered risk issues for meeting and events. The small print reveals that such is not always the case.
Why do companies need such programs? Consider the aspects where risk is present for a meeting, conference and/or event: evacuation/relocation, medical issues, structure/facility concerns, natural disaster, power outage/fire, data breach, intrusion/hostage, etc. While not wanting to be an alarmist, we know disruptions can and are happening. Companies must be equipped to deal with these issues or face the consequences of their ignorance or indifference.
What would such a project look like? According to Goldpring Consulting, an independent travel consultancy, elements include:
- Location and Site Assessment – crime threats, public safety resources, evacuation procedures, etc.
- Venue and Hotel – on site resources such as security, event history, egress, food safety, general premises hygiene
- Security Resources – points of contact for security personnel, site surveys, staff support
- Emergency Planning and Preparation – review local crisis procedures, business continuity, cyber security, medical resources/services.
- Communications – Platforms, content, point of contact/spokesperson
If your company is not set up to address such issues, then it would behoove travel managers and/or meeting planners to engage the leadership to identify the potential impacts and the steps necessary to provide a safe and secure environment as possible. Research finds that often such programs are housed within a corporate travel management program. Regardless of where the responsibility lies, no one can afford to let it slip through the cracks.
Are you in need of a meeting, conference or event planned? Acendas Travel, Director of Meetings & Incentives, Stephanie Clifton discusses important considerations in the video below.Help! I Need to Plan a Meeting!