If your company has a risk management program in place for meetings and events, congratulations. You’re in the minority. According to a survey of 400 corporate planners and decision makers by GoldSpring Consulting and iJet, the meetings and events industry significantly lags behind the corporate travel sector in terms of risk management best practices.
While 64 percent of survey respondents say they have a business travel risk management program in place, of those, only 45 percent had risk policies related to meetings and events (16 percent included them as part of their business travel policies and 29 percent had standalone policies for meetings).
Many of the respondents who lacked a meetings risk management program believed that the issue was out of their control, indicating that it was “Not a focus area” (29 percent), or “Not my purview” (8 percent), or that there was “No directive” (21 percent). The survey authors point to a “general belief that travel risk management programs, in support of corporate/transient travel are covering the risk management needs of meetings and events department and attendees.” On a more positive note, almost a quarter of those without a meetings risk management program say that they have one currently underway.
The report, "Achilles Heel: Meetings & Events Risk Management Lags Corporate Travel Programs," includes recommendations for keeping offsite events safe, with details on best practices for
• conducting a location site assessment
• selecting a hotel
• designating a security point of contact
• reviewing emergency planning and preparation.
The report concludes that as the role of meeting and event planner evolves, meeting executives need to go beyond execution and logistics to take responsibility for duty of care, risk management, and data governance policy.