Human Trafficking & Meetings: One Planner’s Efforts

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human trafficking, meetings
Meeting planners and their attendees come in contact with human trafficking incidents all the time—even in high-end hotels.

Veteran meeting planner Sandy Biback, CMP Emeritus, CMM, of Imagination+ Meeting Planners Inc., could sit still no longer listening to reports on human trafficking and knowing that meeting planners and their attendees come in contact with it all the time. They just don’t realize it.

“For over a year, I’ve been researching human trafficking and what can be done at the planner and venue levels,” she says. “But nothing that I came across, except for one small group in Washington State, addresses the problem from a planner perspective.”

In her hometown of Toronto, she had never heard of a conversation between planners and hoteliers. Now retired, she decided to “take the plunge” and change that by hosting a breakfast on April 19, which drew 40 planners instead of the planned 20. “Our hope is that we can begin next steps and grow this grass roots conversation to create some solid information, training and more.” She is soliciting volunteers from the group that attended—and other interested planners—to create a committee to move the effort forward.

Her goal is  far-reaching: “We already have some strategies, ideas to get to the next level. We will make this a part of the RFP for planners and a part of the CSR for all hotels in Toronto—someday!”

The breakfast outcomes and resource sheets are are available to planners by contacting her at [email protected].


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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 her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She 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 for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.