9 Steps to a Strong Security Plan

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meeting, security
A security plan integrates hotel, air travel and every aspect of the event.

The International Congress & Convention Association offers a downloadable guide to crisis management, developed in conjunction with Andy Williams, vice president, quality assurance and business development, Safehotels Alliance AB (which provides independently verified security and safety certification for hotels and meeting venues worldwide). A wealth of information on everything from working with local emergency services to creating a crisis management plan, it suggests the following 9 steps for meeting planners:

1. When researching, conducting site visits, and selecting your meeting venue and location, consider the likely crisis situations which could impact your meeting or event, including the time period leading up to the event as well as during the event.

2. Evaluate each potential crisis situation in terms of location, area, transport travel route, city, or country. In addition, seek to understand the culture of the location/country and its approach to risk and crisis management.

3. Review and understand the venue’s technical systems, building infrastructure relating to fire, life safety, security, and IT infrastructure.

4. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of the crisis management team.

5. Develop pre-determined communications and reporting procedures using all communication lines at disposal relevant to location and contingency backup should one or more communication lines fail. Consider cell phones, smartphones, direct-dial landlines, Internet based social media and satellite phones.

6. Plan logistical and resources support as appropriate to the assessed crisis situations should response be required.

7. Conduct a crisis management team scenario training exercise one month before your meeting or event.

8. Prepare media statements in advance, pre-brief PR department or agency about your event and the potential crisis situations assessed for the event.

9. Review recovery and restoration guidelines and resources specific to the venue and location.

Download the entire guide 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 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.