Trends with Benefits: Security in Hospitality
Posted by: Sasha Sook, CMP, Summit Executive Centre on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
Safety and security has become important now more than ever with the recent terrorist attacks. According to MPI meetings outlook, 28 percent of meeting professionals said they are making changes in how they run meetings in response to the recent terrorist incidents. The times are changing rapidly and as a planner or venue you are responsible for the safety of your attendees. Here are a few tips to plan for your future programs.
- Ask the venue about their staff and qualifications. At the Summit we are all CPR trained, have fire safety and active shooter training.
- Ask venue what their safety plans in place are. You should also have your own safety plan that you share with attendees and encourage them to report suspicious behavior.
- Have venue provide a safety announcement before your meeting. They will be happy to do this as that allows them to get in front of your attendees. The attendees will feel more confident and know what to do if something happens.
- You may want to consider additional screening measures such as metal-detector screening, random pat-downs, baggage searches, patrolling police and bomb-sniffing dogs depending on the size of your program.
- The cost of meetings will rise because of the need for greater security and even cancelled meetings so this needs to be added into the budgets for future meetings.
- You may want to hire a security agency for your program so you will want to make sure this is also in the budget.
- If you are booking a meeting in a high-risk destination, you may see a decline in attendance. This can’t always be planned for but know what you need to do if something does happen where you are.
- Make sure you never have multiple employees, especially senior level on the same flight.
- The amount of time it takes to get through security and customs and immigration changes daily so make sure you schedule your staff and speakers with a conservative time.
- Visit Travel.state.gov to see if the destination you are planning to book is a high-risk place.
- Enroll your trip in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (Step) and encourage attendees to do so as well.
- As more and more countries are making VISA’S a requirement, make sure you are always researching this and planning for it in advance.
You can never be too prepared so when you are planning an event try to think of all of the scenarios and get the training you need to make sure you will know what to do in the event of an emergency.