New research reveals that many companies are failing to carry out proper risk assessments for every meeting despite the fact that 62 per cent of travel buyers say this is a growing priority.

A survey conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with WorldAware found that a quarter of organisations never or rarely conduct a formal risk assessment of specific venues.

Furthermore, 24 per cent never or rarely assess the risk of meeting locations, such as a particular city or neighbourhood.

While most travel programmes have a risk management solution in place, less than half (49 per cent) have one that includes MICE data. The GBTA says this lack of itinerary data makes it difficult for companies to track their travellers and, in turn, ensure their safety, with a third of travel buyers saying it is more difficult to track employees when they travel for meetings than for transient travel such as a sales trip.

In the event of an emergency, 80 per cent of respondents say they sometimes have a crisis communication plan for meetings, but only 36 per cent say they always have plans in place.

Some of the travel buyers responding to the survey admit they don’t have a risk solution that includes MICE data, but 28 per cent plan to adopt one within the next year.

Michael W McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, commented: “Organisations are certainly making strides in the meetings risk management field, but current efforts leave something to be desired. Proper risk management can be the difference between a successful event and a catastrophic disaster. Although it’s encouraging to see more organisations do assess the risk of meeting locations, the research shows that many companies have some catching up to do.”

Theresa Thomas, senior VP of strategic partnerships at WorldAware, added: “Successful risk management for meetings and events requires organisations to clearly assign risk management responsibilities to an individual or team of individuals, and that responsibility must be comprehensive. In other words, those responsible for risk management must be empowered to assess risks related to location at a city and neighbourhood level, the venue itself and ground transportation, including public transit as well as private transportation.”

GBTA members can read the full Risk Management of Meetings and MICE Travel report here.

gbta.org; worldaware.com

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