A great event means that, from your attendees’ perspective, everything at your event falls into place as if by magic.
There’s plenty of great food. The speakers know just what you want to hear about. And the venue is easy to navigate. The security guards monitor the entrances and the security badges provide an additional level of safety.
Of course, from an event planner’s point of view, that seamlessness requires an incredible amount of work.
It’s an event planner’s role to make sure everyone’s experience is conducive to learning and enjoying an all-around great event. It’s up to them to ensure all the dominoes fall just as they’re supposed to.
But if just one of those dominoes didn’t fall quite the way you intended, the impact could be catastrophic. A buffet mistake is one thing—running out of soup isn’t the end of the world—but an event security slip-up can be incredibly costly to your company and your attendees.
The recent conflict in Hong Kong provides a fitting example of the need for travel risk management. Tensions have been high the last several months, with protests growing in size and scope, temporarily shutting down subway lines, roads and even the international airport.
For the 1.5 billion global participants attending meetings and events, faulty event security is an ever-present concern.
If you’re planning an event, ask yourself these questions to ensure the security of your event attendees, your data and your financial investment is well-kept.
What You Need to Know About Physical Security at Events
- Prioritization. Are you giving attendee security and safety the same meticulous consideration you give other elements of your event?
- Interaction between guests. How will you manage conflict between guests? How will you eliminate event attendee harassment?
- Outside intruders. What steps will you take to prevent outside disruptors from gaining access to your event? How will you handle the situation if they do?
- Medical response. How will you handle event participant medical concerns?
- Destination considerations. Is there anything about your destination that could imperil the health or wellbeing of your people? Is your event near any countries that pose a threat?
- Contact information. Are you prepared to reach participants’ family members or loved ones if anything happens?
What You Need to Know About Information Security at Events
- Data collection and encryption. Are you aware of and comfortable with the data targeted for collection? How about the way it is collected and how it will be used? How will data be encrypted when stored and in transit?
- Network security. Do you have a VPN? Will staff and attendees use different networks?
- Physical access. Will you use security measures such as ID badging to prevent unauthorized people from entering?
- Third-party security. Are your technology suppliers using third-party services to collect attendee information? What are those companies’ security measures?
- Confidential data. Are you restricting confidential data to the people who need to see it? How are you destroying or disposing of sensitive information at the end of the event?
- Social media. Do you have social media policies in place? Are they appropriate and applicable to your event?
What You Need to Know About Financial Security at Events
- Rates, deposits and payment schedules. What’s the contracted attrition rate of your event? Have good faith deposit amounts and a reasonable deposit schedule been negotiated?
- Cancellation and force majeure. How are cancellation terms being handled? Are force majeure (unforeseen circumstances that impact the ability to fulfill a contract) up to date with regard to threats to global health and well-being?
- Confidentiality. What confidentiality protections do you require? What confidentiality protections do your guests require?
- Insurance. Do your hotelier and third-party suppliers have adequate insurance? How will you obtain and manage your partners’ insurance certification?
- Legal liability and dispute resolution. Are mutual indemnification and hold-harmless terms part of your agreement? How will you resolve potential disputes?
For travel and event professionals, the political, economic and environmental landscape continues to create unforeseeable new global risk(s).
But that risk can be successfully mitigated, and the ability to design and deliver once-in-a-lifetime experiences in all corners of the world is a reality with a comprehensive, flexible approach.
For more information about risk management, download our travel and event risk management resource, Ensuring Safe & Secure Experiences.