With in-person events ramping up as international border restrictions
ease up, planners face a minefield of considerations in their meeting
and events (M&E) programmes. Taking top priority among many
organisations is that of duty of care.
The concept of duty of care for delegates has now broadened to
include a wider scope of environmental, security and health-related
considerations as planners learn to address ever-changing risk factors.
to FCM Travel’s Matthew DeMaris, Global Risk Product Leader,
“Travellers now demand 24/7 access to health and safety information.
Meeting and event organisers demand full buy-in from C-suite executives
to determine venue locations, business continuity plans, and strategies
to tackle Covid-19 surges or changes to entry/exit restrictions.
“As a result, more companies are leveraging on travel management
companies (TMCs) to be the engine room for their traveller data and
focal point for access to digital tools and resources.”
BCD Travel’s Neeraj Singhal, MD for Singapore & CFO for Asia
Pacific added that clear travel patterns are emerging, with duty of care
and Covid-19 infection levels at destinations remaining key
He added that meeting planners have reprioritised their agendas.
“Client-facing and revenue-generating travel is taking priority over
internal meetings and training, while large meetings are being reframed
into smaller, more frequent meetings,” said Singhal.
“Travel is different now. Companies must give their travellers the
tools and support to increase their confidence and protect their health.
Travel managers must now transform their travel programmes into ones
that help keep business moving safely and responsibly during
uncertainty,” he added.
Covid-19 has effected big changes in travel risk management standards
and digital transformation. The ISO 31030 published in September last
year set the standards for how organisations should build, implement and
evaluate a travel risk management strategy.
Efforts in digital transformation underwent massive shifts, with
greater reliance on automation tools. “Since 2020, companies have
invested a lot more in technologies that can help them both locate and
communicate directly with their travellers,” said DeMaris.
Moving forward, a sound M&E programme will alleviate the biggest
challenge faced by organisations in 2022 and beyond – compliance by
travellers and the correct response during a critical incident.
To read more about the new landscape of risk management for meeting
planners and travel managers, look out for our latest issue, M&C
Asia January-March 2022.