Attendee Security Top of Mind for Planners

attendee security, meetings
Attendee security is on the agenda at Prevue’s two May Summits, May 11-12 in Houston and May 22-23 in NYC.

With yet another bombing last week at the Paris headquarters of the International Monetary Fund, heightened security across Europe after a string of bombings and rising tensions around North Korea, companies planning international meetings are on high alert.

“We take any and all threats very seriously,” said one planner in the financial services industry. “We have a global security office staffed with ex CIA and FBI and if there is a threat, we are ready to move our people. We’re also looking to find more incentive destinations within the U.S. and Canada, so we can rotate every other year with international destinations.”

At Nationwide Insurance, Patricia Kerr, CMP, AVP, meeting & event management, has just started working with her company’s head of security to institute security protocols for meetings. “Security has not been an issue for us, but is something we are becoming more aware of and we needed to get protocols established. First, we will vet all destinations we are considering with security prior to booking if our board, CEO or CEO cabinet are going to be on location.

“We are also in the process of developing an event-specific emergency/crisis-management plan to ensure our planners who are on the ground are well equipped to know basic security and communication protocols if an emergency does occur.”

Attendee security is on the agenda at Prevue’s two upcoming Summits: May 11-12 in Houston and May 22-23 in NY, with iJET’s Theresa Thomas and GoldSpring Consulting’s Kevin Iwamoto sharing their experience and helpful tips for attendees. Thomas is passionate about how companies focus their resources on individual travelers’ safety, but meeting attendees can be even more visible and vulnerable, from the badges they wear to the buses that are used to transport them. For more on their sessions, visit our Summit web page.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.