I had a fantastic time at Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Conference (MPI WEC) in San Francisco last week! It was great to connect with colleagues and get up to speed on the latest meeting planning and management trends.
Amid the conference buzz, I heard a lot of concern about ensuring the safety of employees at company meetings. That got me thinking about ways meeting planners can practice good risk management. After all, as much as we’d like to think that our meetings will go off without a hitch, all kinds of things can — and do — go wrong.
Be prepared! Consider these 7 ways to keep your employees safe – before, during and after your corporate event:
1. Make sure your suppliers are safe.
When sourcing for lodging for your event, ask hotels if they have hard-wired smoke detectors in every guest room, adequate emergency lighting, and locks on windows and doors. Ask them about levels of crime in surrounding neighborhoods. For car rental agencies, make sure your request for proposal (RFP) includes questions on safe driving features like GPS and electronic toll payment devices. Also, ask about the average age of vehicles in the fleet.
2. Inform attendees
about their destination — including information about security, health risks (such as local outbreaks of the flu), weather and transportation. This can be done before the event in emails and via registration materials. Follow up and provide updates as the event nears — and even during the event.
3. Limit the number of employees traveling on a single flight.
While you may have this policy in place for senior executives, you may want to extend this practice to the rest of your employees. If you’re going to do this, make sure you have a process in place to monitor the number of people on booked flights. Appoint someone to be responsible to take corrective action.
that attendees book through your designated travel agency, stay at approved hotels, and make purchases using your company’s corporate card — the better to track their whereabouts in case of an emergency. Request that travelers communicate check-ins, changes and delays.
5. Alert employees about travel delays.
Work with your travel agency to arrange mobile travel alerts for your employees. Having that information will enable them to make safe, smart choices for alternate travel.
6. Know whom to call.
If you subscribe to an emergency assistance provider, give corporate event attendees that service’s 24-hour hotline phone number and online link. Such services help with medical and travel assistance, security evacuations, kidnapping response and other emergencies.
7. Track your travelers.
Consider using software that enables you to monitor employees’ travel. Send them emails or text messages in case of an emergency or travel disruption.
There are plenty of risks in business travel. But by incorporating these best practices, meeting and event planners can make their attendees’ journeys a little safer.
- Duty of Care – Are you Covered? iJet International, Inc., 2015
- BTN Blueprint: Incorporating Risk Management Procedures Into Travel Policy, Business Travel News, Dec. 13, 2013
- 10 Tips for Keeping Your Meeting Attendees Healthy, Safe, and Secure, MeetingsNet, Oct. 30, 2012