On Monday, July 30, an Aeromexico flight from the northern Mexican state of Durango to Mexico City crashed shortly after takeoff; miraculously, all 103 passengers survived. While this was the best possible outcome, the incident serves as a stark reminder for meeting and incentive planners that risk-management protocols must be actively monitored ahead of an event to minimize the potential for hugely negative consequences on the host organization.
In fact, the results of a study released by the Global Business Travel AssociationFoundation last November underscore the need for planners to collect and analyze all attendee-travel itineraries for each meeting and incentive program. The study, titled Travel Booking Behaviour Impacts on Safety, found that more than 60 percent of corporate travelers booked outside company channels within the previous year even when they had access to a corporate booking tool. What’s more, just 40 percent of respondents said their company captured their travel plans when they booked outside of the corporate booking tool.
Even with widespread corporate policies that, among other restrictions, disallow managers and executives with overlapping responsibilities to travel together, “missing or incomplete data can greatly hinder travel managers from meeting their duty of care responsibilities” to individual travelers, says Monica Sanchez, director of research for the GBTA Foundation. What’s more, failure to capture that data exposes the organization to loss of significant institutional knowledge, in the event of a travel accident involving multiple managers or executives, or other key employees such as top salespeople.
The GBTA study results and Aeromexico incident are clear reminders of the need for planners to collect the attendee-travel data needed for risk-management analysis and action related to an event.