I had the pleasure of attending the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) annual convention in Boston this week. Overall, it contained a somewhat surprising number of travel security & risk management related education sessions and found the principle of Duty of Care to be thematic throughout the program. General David Patraeus was a keynote speaker highlighting US politics and military perspectives as related to operating in the global environment. ASIS International Chief Knowledge Officer Michael Gips participated as a panelist on a discussion related to travel risk management at general session as well. Individuals from Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, Northwestern University, Marriott International, and many others spoke on relevant topics in separate sessions as well. The presence of such titans of industry and their leading the way by speaking on travel risk issues showcases the importance of safety & security being incorporated into today’s meeting and event planning.
From my personal perspective, there were two very important takeaways from the convention:
1. There are over 70+ countries around the world that criminalize LGBTQ in a variety of ways. This is a complex and complicated issue for corporations to deal with properly today due to the legalities involved however Duty of Care cannot be ignored or neglected or it may come back to bite the organization that does choose to delay their dealings with addressing this from a policy/procedure stance. Be sure your management team involved in HR, Corporate Security, Travel, Legal, and operations are all having a dialogue on how best to address this for your organization.
2. The best practices that our company (PRS) are currently employing for meeting & event planning safety & security risk mitigation are in fact in-line with current industry best practice. This is reassuring to hear that other industry stalwarts are following the same approach & methodology that our team practices regularly, start with a detailed risk assessment of venue, program agenda, VIP’s activities, asset allocation to determine your risk mitigation (gap analysis) plan to include personnel staffing, technology as well as policies & procedures awareness. The more the travel industry professionals can become educated about these best practices and on a global scale, all the better. We need to continue to raise awareness of the importance of what security practitioners do to support the meetings & events planners and articulate its importance.
At PRS, we will continue to refine our process as there is no “cookie-cutter” approach for each & every client but rather take the overall high-level areas to address (which should be largely consistent from one industry to another in risk assessment for events) and customize the content for each area for that client and venue. With each & every event project we undertake there is a key takeaway learned to help us better help our clients on future engagements and we do take every advantage to help make our support services to you/your company more agile, scale-able and efficient to ensure a seamless, optimized, zero loss event.