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Feature COVER STORY 18 MAR-APR 2020 MEETINGS & CONVENTIONS MCMAG-ASIA.COM M ICE planners play a critical role in safeguarding businesses and attendees from health, cyber and terror threats, and minimising the costly risk of injuries, legal action and reputational damage should an incident occur. Of all the issues that meeting planners consider when selecting an event venue, safety and security are top priorities, according to a 2019 Destination Meeting Assessment Program survey conducted by Smith Travel Research. Ensuring a safe environment takes priority over other items that go into meeting planners' decision-making checklist, such as ease of arrival by delegates, value, convention space near the meeting, number of hotel rooms and other routine considerations. In the US, professional planners have begun demanding assurances from As humans travel all over the planet and gather in cities, the spread of new diseases will become the norm. Besides these health threats, there are other dangers as well - terrorism and cyber threats. How will MICE planners better prepare themselves for such disruptions? WORDS PATRICIA WEE Disruptions venues that their delegates will be safe from harm at all times. Cvent, a leading meetings, events and hospitality management technology provider, reported that "90% of event professionals believe more safety and security at events should be a priority." Awareness lacking However, in Asia, an all-encompassing solution to manage safety and security for meetings and events is still lacking, said CWT Meetings & Events senior director, Asia Paci!c, Mr Sam Lay. "The measures are simply part of a larger or more generic scheme that arise from (the) likes of insurance coverage. There needs to be more awareness. Safety and security are not at that level yet, where it is part and parcel of planning and we need a few key organisations to set the stage here." CREDIT: SOS INTERNATIONAL

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