New Survey: Duty of Care Often Falls on the Meeting Planner

duty of care, meetings
Few companies distribute safety information about international destinations or airlines.

Prevue’s new survey of 100 corporate meeting planners revealed that not only are duty of care policies and practices around meetings inconsistent and loosely defined, but that attendee safety and security often lies in the hands of an already over-extended meeting planner.

The report, entitled “Risky Business,” found that despite turbulent geopolitical conditions and ever-increasing potential risks to meeting travelers, an alarming 40 percent of U.S. corporations do not have an overall duty of care plan in place for meeting attendees were a crisis to occur.

Clearly, many companies have not distinguished that meetings come with their own specific set of risks, which are different than those facing individual business travelers—whether that be attendees walking around cities wearing badges or a chartered bus full of meeting attendees traveling through a dangerous area.

A minority of respondents said their companies provide adequate safety information about international destinations and airlines. The vast majority—76 percent—do not require meeting owners to have emergency plans in place for their events.

When asked who is responsible for duty of care, 21 percent of respondents said the responsibility for attendee safety and security belonged solely to the meeting planner and 10 percent of respondents either didn’t know who was responsible for it or said it was up to the attendees themselves. In 44 percent of companies, the responsibility is shared between the planner, travel management company and internal/external security experts. Though 18 percent of respondents’ companies have internal risk management/security experts, only 1 percent hire an outside firm such as International SOS or iJET.

Download the complete survey here.


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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.


  1. You probably should have asked the same question of Counsels General at the same companies. You would likely have had different results. I know of nothing to suggest that meeting planners have any particular expertise. As a former chief of a US Government personal protection details for a senior US official and security advisor to numerous Fortune 500 companies, I rarely encounter anyone in a corporate security office or meeting planner who is qualified to produce such plans.