A Little Help From Your Friends
It seems more often than not today unexpected chaos or disruption enters our professional sphere. And so, risk management should be at the top of your meeting/event planning focus.
Even though we don’t like to think about it, the potential hazards causing the most disruption or danger in groups of people include “manmade” threats such as cybercrime, protests, terrorism, and shootings. “Natural” occurrences such as earthquakes, hurricanes and wildfires also fall within this discussion.
The value of risk prevention is really immeasurable. Everyone benefits when management does its homework and plans accordingly. Implementing the practices below offers proven risk management preparations every company needs to explore when planning events and meetings. The following disciplines create a safety net by avoiding risk management problems.
- Evaluate Risks: When selecting a venue, evaluate the risks of each meeting location and activity for potential issues and hazards.
- Identify ‘Request for Proposal’ Issues: Use the RFP process to identify security areas. Ask for relevant information such as:
- Emergency procedures strategy
- Additional security costs
- Keeping non-attendees out of meeting areas
- Record of recent criminal incidents in and near facility
- Cybersecurity measures available to protect attendees and staff from hacking
- Firearms policies
- Consider Safety Measures: Meetings/events with certain types of activities may require safety measures and additional scrutiny, including:
- Athletic events - “fun runs” and swimming
- Events where alcohol will be served
- Events featuring cannabis (marijuana), or when the meeting organizer knows that attendees may be using cannabis at meeting-related events, even where legal
- Permitting attendees to carry firearms
- Safety ‘Perception’ Matters. Be aware that attendees’ perception of safety may be as important as actual safety, when encouraging meeting attendance.
- Request Emergency Plans: Ask hotels and venues for their emergency plans and adapt/integrate them as appropriate.
- Design a Security Plan: Create a security plan, including attendee ID verification and a crisis communications system. Consider hiring security personnel based on all risk factors.
- Allocate Security Responsibilities by Contract: Use meeting contracts to allocate responsibility for risk and possible losses that clearly designate which parties are responsible for each type of security. Execute indemnification (hold harmless) agreements to protect against loss caused by venues and contractors.
- Protect Computers and Cyberspace: Secure computers by running antivirus software, changing passwords regularly and educating staff and management to avoid “pirate” networks and risky websites/emails.
- Safeguard Attendees’ Personal Information: Only divulge attendee personal information on a “need-to-know” basis, and then only to persons and businesses that provide demonstrable assurances of protecting data and securing their networks. Ensure General Data Protection Regulation(GDPR) compliance, when required.
- Insurance Is Essential: The meeting organization, third-party planners, venue and other contractors should all have their own insurance, in sufficient types and amounts.
If you already have included some or all of these practices into your charter, fantastic. Any mentioned that you haven’t considered will likely provide your company a soft cushion of comfort and confidence when you incorporate them in your risk management program.
HQZ Experts assists clients in solving marketing and managing tactics. Let's talk about your approach