Key Safety and Security Planning Tips for Successful International Corporate Events

Post-financial crisis has seen many companies and sponsors return to the international events scene with renewed enthusiasm, evident by increased volume, along with a whole new generation of offerings from providers in the sector. However, despite many internal, mature risk management processes, the majority of international events still continue to present an Achilles heel when it comes to business travel health, safety and security.

Despite the fact the event may be held offsite or away from the usual place of employment, it still does not discharge a company from their usual duty of care or workplace health and safety obligations.

When it comes to international corporate events, meetings, incentives, conferences and gatherings, here is what every planner needs to know to ensure a successful, safe and secure event. In this article you will learn the most important safety and security planning tips starting with location, activities, emergency planning, monitoring and communications. By the end of this article you will have a rapid evaluation criteria and consistent, safe approach to ensure all your international corporate events run smoothly and prevent the majority of avoidable incidents that ruin otherwise great gatherings and corporate events.

Location Selection

Too many planners leap to an ideal location and then attempt to force all the solutions and planning solutions around this ideal destination. The best location must meet the requirements for an enjoyable, successful and functional site for all the planned activities but also provide for all the support needs such as routine medical, reliable transport, secure locations and safe environments. Any location that fails these initial criteria will only amplify any emergency situation and likely result in a higher overall risk to all involved.

While the initial location is important, it is just as important to evaluate all the activities needed for the event and identify any and all social activities that will take place in conjunction with the event.

International Corporate Events

Activity Focused

Corporate meetings, incentives, conferences, and events can be high activity situations with lots of people coming and going along with information sharing and enjoyment opportunities. Therefore all proposed and possible activities must be considered and included in the final plan. This should include everything from arrivals, reception; check in, conference events, networking, social/entertainment, sightseeing, ground transport, shopping, internal travel and departures.

It is paramount that all activities available be considered in the chosen location, not just those provided on the official program as attendees or accompanying partners/families always seek out alternate options, with a high potential for emergency situations outside the traditional plans.

A commonly overlooked element is parallel or simultaneous events and activities. Other company functions, public holidays, climate changes, religious festivals and even internal company events such as product launches or press releases need to be considered and how they will impact the running of the event along with any altered threat or emergency planning concerns.

Only after all the activities, internal and external to the event, have been identified and mapped out can you progress to the emergency management and planning stage.

Emergency Planning First

This may seem counter intuitive but in my experience it is the far superior approach. With a set location and a list of activities you can now start to create broad and detailed emergency planning sessions. The reason this is a better approach is that you do not want to discover areas that require minor or major treatment solutions late in the budget, promotion, and management or confirmation cycles. For example, if you discovered that the local medical services were routinely overwhelmed on a weekend due to peak tourist activity in your chosen location, you would need to either reconsider the location as a plausible option or include onsite medical support as part of your budget and risk mitigation solution. Especially when you consider in your planning the impact and support demands should you have a group emergency such as food poisoning or the collapse of a viewers stand.

With an emergency support plan in place first, almost all your routine concerns and considerations will be itemized for completion. Rooms, transport, ushers, communications, medical, security, service providers and many more will have been considered and prioritized in the planning stage and now await procurement and confirmation in a far more organized sequence by the planning team. These services and requirements in the emergency plan, almost always have a routine and day-to-day requirement anyway, and both cost efficiencies and planning time can be reduced considerably.

No plan or assumptions are ever one hundred percent accurate; therefore a system for continued monitoring and review is also mandatory to ensure success.

Continued Monitoring

Change is inevitable, especially if your event was scoped and planned weeks or months in advance. Therefore a reliable and effective system is required to identify and manage change in accordance to the priority required by the altered outcome.

Dedicated systems and resources, often already present as part of the overall event administration, needs to be harnessed to support the inevitable change management issues. Timings, resources, weather, personnel and services are all likely to alter in some shape or form prior to or during your ideal plan. Clearly defined information requirements, lines of communication, prioritization of response and follow up procedures need to be in place and communicated to those affected or influential to the process. This should be supported with an appropriate vehicle in which to share information such as email, SMS, radios, blogs, bulletin boards and so on.

The more information you collect, the more you have to process but the better informed you will be when making routine and emergency decisions.

Information, Information and more information

Plan to capture and access as much information as possible when managing successful corporate events. Too few planners and event managers appreciate or successfully capture and process routine information that could dramatically improve the efficiency and productivity of an event but also prove pivotal to emergency situations.

Consider well in advance how to store and access information. The right information should be accessible in the easiest possible way by those that need it and the coordination and evaluation of all input should be ongoing. Flight schedules, media events, meals, contact numbers, agendas, weather activity, emergency services, support resources, capabilities, response times, preparation time, cost, expertise, and all other requirements must be pre-prepared, captured and managed throughout the event. All this information should not die with the event’s conclusion but provide a template for future events and even return options for routine and extra ordinary business activity.

With all this preparation, it is almost criminal that too few prepare their attendees adequately in advance with pre-arrival preparations.

Pre-Arrival Preparations For Greater Corporate Event Safety and Security

With all the preparation and information activity up to this point, it remains illogical why so much of it is then not shared with attendees and planners. A centralized body of knowledge in which elements can be extracted to provide and prepare attendees is neither difficult nor indulgent.

Group pre-arrival guides, information and key updates should be delivered in a “readable” or “digestible” format to all those likely to attend and support the event. This channel and focus group should be regularly updated with the most salient points regularly until the completion of the event.

A more focused demographic such as organizers, supporters, families, technical personnel, alternate language groups, men, first time travellers/visitors, women and mixed national or cultural groups should be isolated and communicated to with more specific and relevant content. This is not just in the form of a general “goodies bag” that seem to dominate a lot of these events and are rarely read or retained by the majority of attendees. Any further segmentation such as those with dietary restrictions, medical conditions and so on should also be catered for and engaged. Event providers and suppliers could learn a lot in distinguishing themselves from the general market by providing this as part of the attraction and delivery offering. All this does not need to be the sole responsibility of the attending company but could easily be provided by the host facility/entity. Don’t forget, this is a two way street also with many social media platforms available for rapid and widespread distribution should attendees seek to share their opinion, dissatisfaction or even during a crisis. Therefore, channel monitoring is also advisable.

Routine and continued updates should be available that could easily be altered to include priority/emergency information updates should the need arise. Prior development and regular use of any communication platform will only enhance the success and engagement of the event.

Communications For Corporate Event Security

Event planners and managers are almost spoilt by choice with the various means and mediums for communications. The consolidation and consistency of message is the challenge, along with ensuring segmentation of both content and receiver. Facebook, YouTube, SMS, email, blog, website and numerous other social media platforms are all viable means for two-way communication. Planners should have already identified in their emergency planning what local options, limitations or nuances prevail and the best or most reliable for the task.

Regular and enjoyable communications are never a burden but frequent, irrelevant communications puts any emergency communication at risk as users may have already dismissed or blocked specific channels due to abuse. This must also be collaborated with all aspects and planners of the event.

Like all the afore mentioned elements, these systems don’t run by themselves. They need supervision and constant management throughout the lifecycle of the event and should not be shutdown or turned off until the event is officially complete and all attendees under care are safely on their way back to their point of origin.

Continued Management

It is not the plans that are important, it is the planning. Continued management and monitoring is a close second. All events, locations and activities require care and management to ensure they go as close as can be reasonably expected to plan.

Continued management is a team event and not solely dependent upon one or two individuals. Succession planning and redundancies should have been identified in the emergency-planning phase to prevent the vulnerability presented when one or two key people are unavailable momentarily or for extended periods.

Each stage, action and even event should be reviewed and analyzed for opportunities to improve the process or identify overlooked aspects.

Conclusion

When it comes to international corporate events, meetings, incentives, conferences and gatherings, these are the key health, safety and security points that every planner needs to know to ensure a successful, safe and secure event. You now have the most important safety and security planning tips starting with location, activities, emergency planning, monitoring and communications. Use this as a reference and checklist to ensure you have an evaluation criteria and consistent, safe approach to ensure all your international corporate events run smoothly and prevent the majority of avoidable incidents that ruin otherwise great gatherings and corporate events.

Personal Safety and Security, Tips to Keep You Safe

Personal safety isn’t something most people think about on a daily basis. However, statistics show people who don’t pay attention to their surroundings and don’t give much thought to safety and security are far more likely to become the victim of a crime than people who do. With that in mind here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe while you go about your daily routine.

Staying Safe While Shopping

Whether you’re in a supermarket, the mall, or any large retail store you will cross paths with large crowds of people. This is heaven for purse snatchers, identity thieves, child predators and other societal miscreants. Taking a few simple precautions, will make the bad guys think twice before targeting you.

  • If possible, don’t shop alone, shop with a friend or family member. First off, you are less likely to be the victim of an assault if you shop with a buddy. An attacker will usually pick a vulnerable target that he can overpower easily. It’s rare for a lone attacker to target someone who isn’t alone. Also, when shopping with a friend, it’s good having that extra set of eyes to look out for suspicious people and situations. It’s far too easy to get distracted while shopping and not notice someone approaching with bad intentions.
  • Many people carry large amounts of cash and several credit cards while shopping. Plan out your trip and estimate how much you might spend and carry only enough cash or credit to cover those expenses. In the event your purse or wallet are stolen, your losses will be smaller and it’s easier to cancel a few cards as opposed to several.
  • Never leave your purse unattended in a shopping cart. In fact, it’s not wise to leave it in the cart even while you’re paying attention. An experienced thief won’t think twice about taking your purse right out of the cart while you watch.
  • Keep small children close by at all times, and discuss with them a family plan in the event you get separated.
  • Never sign your checks until you get to the checkout line. If you lose them or they’re stolen, your account could get cleaned out in a hurry.
  • Never flash the cash. For large purchases, always use credit or ATM. Don’t carry large amounts of cash, ever. Even when you do make cash purchases, put your money away before leaving the checkout and avoid letting anyone see your cash if possible.
  • Never carry a spare key in your wallet or purse. If someone steals that purse or wallet, they will likely have your ID and your address to go along with that key.

Parking Lot Safety

For car thieves and crooks, a parking lot is a treasure trove of goodies. They will think nothing of smashing your window to grab a cell phone, packages, stereo or a few bucks. A good car thief can break in and hot wire a car in under a minute. Sexual predators and muggers also do some of their best work in parking lots due to ease of escape, shortage of security, and lack of awareness on the part of victims. However, there are some things you can do to discourage them or slow them down.

  • Try to park as close to your destination as possible. Car thieves and smash and grabbers tend operate on the outskirts away from heavy foot traffic. Potential attackers also prefer to target victims farther away from potential witnesses.
  • If you are unable to park close to your destination, make sure you park somewhere well-lit and away from potential hiding places like bushes, a trash dumpster, block wall or large vehicles.
  • Lock packages and valuables in the trunk. If thieves can’t see anything valuable on your car seat, they might not be tempted to break in.
  • Limit the amount of time you spend in your car. After you park, exit right away and proceed to your destination. When returning to your vehicle, get in, start the engine and leave immediately. Carjackers and attackers often strike when people are distracted, usually as they exit or enter their vehicle.
  • Make it a point to pay close attention to where you parked. In a large parking lot it is easy to forget where you parked. A woman, walking alone aimlessly through a parking lot makes a prime target.
  • Be aware of your surrounding and keep an eye on potential dangers like hiding places where an attacker could surprise you.
  • It’s important to exude confidence as you walk, use body language that projects that confidence. Attackers will usually only target victims that appear weak and helpless. Avoiding appearing like an easy target.

ATM Safety

An ATM cash machine is one of those modern conveniences that most people can’t seem to live without. However, they can be a magnet for criminals. Many ATM machines are situated in areas that are visually obstructed and users are often preoccupied and not paying attention to their surroundings. A few simple precautions can reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

  • Most ATM robberies occur between 8:00 pm and 6:00 am. Avoiding using a cash machine between those hours. However if you must have access to some cash between those hours look for an ATM inside a supermarket or make a small purchase at the market and ask for cash back.
  • Beware of people loitering near ATM machines, especially after dark.
  • Avoid using any ATM machines that are located to the rear of a building and out of view of the main street.
  • Avoid using an ATM while you are alone.
  • Once the ATM dispenses the cash, put it away immediately and avoid letting anyone see how much you have. Remove your card quickly, walk away and avoid lingering around counting the money. Avoid “flashing the cash”.
  • Plan your transaction, and have your card ready before you reach the cash machine.
  • Keep an eye on your surroundings during the transaction.
  • If you are approached by an armed attacker, don’t argue, fight or attempt to follow him. Try to remember as many details as possible, to aid police in identification.
  • Never fight or engage an attacker except as a last resort and your life is in danger.

If You’re Approached

The easiest part of personal safety is awareness and avoidance. Everyone can be a little extra careful to avoid dangerous situations. Everyone can be a little more attentive to their surroundings. Nevertheless, it is decidedly more difficult for most people to act, once an aggressor has targeted them. However, a little pre-planning and practice can go a long way in preparing yourself for an attack.

  • In a parking lot, a shopping cart can be used to shield yourself from an attacker to keep him from reaching you.
  • If a stranger approaching makes you uncomfortable and you feel as if something bad is imminent, make eye contact. This lets the stranger know that you won’t be taken by surprise and will buy you some time to think and plan your next move. This may also discourage an attack as many criminals will think twice about attacking someone who they can’t sneak up on.
  • If someone approaches your vehicle blow your horn to attract attention and scare him off.
  • If you have pepper spray or a stun gun, have it in your hand and ready to go.
  • If you must fight, remember, weak points of the human body are the groin, throat, knees, eyes and shins.
  • Don’t be afraid to verbally confront strangers following you. This sends a message that you aren’t an easy target and may scare him off.

Most people don’t give much thought to their personal safety when they go about their daily routines. This is why thieves, and attackers often target people when they least expect it. Following these basic tips and paying attention to your surrounding will help you to reduce the risk of becoming a victim for you and your loved ones.

Choosing Safety and Security – GE Home Alarm Systems

You and your family should feel most safe and secure at home. Small-time burglars or professional thieves run amok and to hear about this in the news day-in and day-out can be unsettling. It may not be enough that the door locks and our secured windows are the only things separating us from the dangerous risks out there. If this is how you feel, do something for yourself and your loved ones. For you, sense of security is extremely significant our home’s well-being. One must take up arms and choose a reliable home alarm system at home.

You cannot take security take for granted. This is one priority you have to think over. To choose quality products and services, some would consider the GE home alarm systems to be a good choice since they offer multiple security and detection systems solutions.

The goal for any company focusing on home alarm systems would be to deliver dependable and lasting quality products and services. A complete home alarm system should cover all possible threats that may cause deterrents to the way of life at home. It should lower the risk for home intrusions and immediately detect life-threatening situations, even including fire and smoke. A security system must consider the possible risks and lower those risks. The possibility of harm is always there, we only want to lower the chances that it would happen to us. And if it does happen, we want to detect it early on to reduce or prevent the loss and damage of our property.

Key and lock services, access control, high-tech video monitoring, surveillance systems, fire alarm and life safety devices, and intrusion detection comprise the GE home alarm systems. The different types of products and services made available to us ensure full coverage at home. There are so many products to opt for – it would only come down to what we believe would be the best security system to equip our homes with.

There are also two types of security systems to choose from, the wired and wireless systems. It should be considered which way you would want to go here. But the latter would be the more ideal between the two for a ready-to-install system at home. Plus the convenience of a wireless system can be replaced or upgraded without difficulty needs to be considered also. The accessibility we now have through the Internet in purchasing almost anything and everything online can be a blessing.

We do not need to buy all of these if the budget is not there and if we do not find the other products to be necessary components to the level of security we want to achieve. The ultimate goal here is to customize your own home alarm system which you find appropriate and reliable. There is no need to show off the latest and most expensive device you can find out there. We can find one or two products from the GE home alarm systems to be the most practical and affordable in our own point of view and work our way from there.

The risks are present and there is no way to escape them. Let us not be naive enough to think that this will not happen to you because reality is, it can happen to everyone. Detection is the key when it comes to home security.