In previous articles, we have addressed various aspects of risk management as it relates to corporate meetings and events. With COVID-19 (C-19) restrictions on travel and activities beginning to ease in many countries, attention is likely to turn to the measures that will be required for the eventual return of in-person corporate events.
Some event strategists may see the new requirements as an obstacle to be overcome, while it should arguably be seen as an opportunity to develop the risk management culture within their events team. In the post-pandemic landscape, event organisers will have to contend with a myriad of unfamiliar compliance issues. Official guidance may often be ambiguous and open to interpretation as government and authorities seek to distance themselves from any negative outcomes. Additionally, post C-19 events will need to provide transparent and robust assurance on safety & welfare to prospective attendees.
In this context, event professionals should be receptive to any process that helps them successfully navigate this new and complex landscape. The most efficient solution is to implement a structured approach to risk management, which will serve event organisers well beyond the current C-19 context.
A Total Risk Management (TRM) approach is already adopted at licensed public events which are generally held to a higher standard of regulatory requirement. Event professionals with experience in both public and corporate events will attest that TRM is central to planning in the public arena and promotes compliance and accountability.
What is Total Risk Management?
TRM entails identifying, understanding, and managing all foreseeable strategic, tactical and operational risks leading to a comprehensive risk register for the event. This will, in turn, enhance the event planning process with the introduction of early analysis and risk mitigation. A TRM approach will encourage a broader risk management culture, improving future planning and customer experience.
In short, TRM is a documented process that identifies, analyses, and mitigates risk across the entire spectrum of planned event activity. It requires your risk management team to be involved from the initiation of the planning cycle to the conclusion of the event.
A starting point for a TRM approach in the corporate event sector would include aspects such as:
- Setting risk strategy
- Setting organisational standards for risk management operations
- Risk management training for event professionals: The Basics
- Introduction of a centralised event control system
- C-19 specific: Strategic and tactical planning for ‘COVID Secure’ events
- C-19 specific: Deployment of a COVID Officer
Key Benefits of TRM
- A designated and experienced risk team having timely access and input to all relevant planning
- Development of a comprehensive event-specific risk register
- Continuous vigilance and deep diving on the risk detail between initiation and program conclusion
- Ongoing research to stay current with relevant authority legislation and guidance
- Assessment of risk on all aspects of the participant journey throughout the event experience carried out in collaboration with the event project team
- Experienced advice on effective mitigation and control measures
- Alignment of control measures with customer expectations and experience
- Identification and engagement with specialist resources and suppliers
- Liaison with statutory agencies, hotels, venues, vendors etc., ensuring a consistent approach to compliance
- Oversight of tactical and operational execution of the risk management plan
- Ensuring the management of specific risks is proportionate and does not diminish attention to other risks
In the coming weeks, we will discuss the integration aspects listed above and expand more upon their benefits.
Powermill is a consultancy that provides corporate event solutions globally to a select group of clients. Our mission is to be the risk management and knowledge partner of choice for the corporate events sector.