Meeting Mentor Magazine

May 2018

Duty of Care: It’s in Your Hands

New research on duty of care by iJET International and GoldSpring Consulting offers hands-on advice to help planners ensure that their meeting travelers are safe.

Meeting attendees share many of the same risks as business travelers. But practices such as displaying signage with the organization’s logo, traveling in groups on private coaches or even wearing name badges make them more vulnerable.

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Organizations and their vendors are aware that they are at risk if they do not have duty of care policies in place. “International legal trends continue to shift the burden of mitigating risks squarely onto organizations, with duty of care becoming a central concept in assessing an organization’s obligations towards employees and others,” the report states.

The following five steps suggested by the survey should be used by all organizations to help keep attendees safe.

1. Establish a corporate travel policy. There should be a policy in place defining who can travel, how to book trips and the approval process, consequences for out-of-policy business travel, required training for travel to high-risk destinations, tools to monitor and communicate threats, and ground transportation policies. There should be a list of preferred airlines.

2. Require employees to book air or hotel travel through the the preferred channel. With no regard to policy, it can be very difficult to track and contact them in case of an emergency. As a result, many organizations restrict travel reimbursement to those trips booked through preferred channels.

3. Provide destination intelligence. Attendees need up-to-date information about the threats they may encounter during their trip. Pre-trip updates about the intrinsic threats (security, health, weather, transportation) at a particular location are important — as are updates to changing situations as they unfold.

4. Share information on airline safety. The European Union publishes a blacklist of unsafe airlines, those airlines prohibited from flying or restricted in their flights within European airspace. While the list is specific to the EU, many airlines on the list operate outside the EU. Organizations need to gather and disseminate this information to ensure that no one travels on unsafe airlines.

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5. Assess hotel risk. Establish standards that can be used to assess meeting hotels, among them the presence of hardwired smoke detectors in every guest room, adequate emergency lighting, locking devices on windows and doors, and crime statistics from the surrounding neighborhoods.

A downloadable copy of the full report is available here.

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MeetingMentor, the leading publication for senior meeting planners, is circulated to the clients, prospects and sales associates of ConferenceDirect, which books more than 3.87 million room nights. www.meetingmentormag.com

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