Powermill Inside Line

Inside Line Series: Researching and Analysing Risk for Corporate Events.  

This week, Martin O’Brien, COO of Powermill provides insight into our process for preparing a high-level risk analysis for corporate events.

Corporate events can and often do present unforeseen challenges to the project team. Unexpected issues that arise close to or during onsite execution may distract and disrupt production at a critical time. In this age of information overload, many of us are bombarded daily with soundbites of ‘this or that’ risk. We often lack the time to drill deep on the quality of the information or consider its potential impact. Individual risk perception is no substitute for a thorough process of documented research and analyses carried out by those with relevant skills and experience.  

The solution is a focused risk management approach, which requires a dedicated project risk team to develop a detailed assessment, monitor and manage the issues that are revealed by that process. The risk team will identify, contextualise, and provide for mitigation during the planning cycle. They will continue to monitor and manage the identified risk up to and throughout the event execution. 

Risk and Threat Assessment  

A program-specific risk and threat assessment is the foundation block of security, safety, welfare, and crisis planning for international corporate events. Proactively identifying the risk landscape helps ensure that efficient mitigation can be integrated early, avoiding unnecessary stress and sometimes costly last-minute budget changes. 

Program Details and Context 

Targeted research grounded in a high-level understanding of the program details and objectives is the optimum starting point. Some of the common details to explore are:

  • Country, City 
  • Venue 
  • Proposed program activity 
  • Expected attendance profile 
  • Arrangements for accommodation, transport, catering, etc. 
  • C-Suite or other VIP level participation 

It is also important to ground the research in the local context of the destination. The issues that arise to prominence will vary from Las Vegas to Paris to Bengaluru or Mexico City. 

Experienced Research and Analysis 

Global Risk for Corporate Events

The risk team should be educated and experienced in research and analysis of this nature. Sometimes the researcher may already be familiar with the unique aspects of the destination and confirm their knowledge by information gathered from a professional network and open-source material. One should only use authoritative open sources such as government websites, prominent industry experts, peer-reviewed research papers and other reliable evidence in developing the assessment.  

Common Headlines to Address 

Common headlines of the assessment should include but not necessarily be limited to: 

  • Crime 
  • Terrorism 
  • Social unrest 
  • Labour disputes 
  • Natural hazards 
  • Health concerns (Zika, Ebola, COVID-19,etc.)
  • Anything else which might negatively impact the safety and security of event participants, assets, or the reputation of the client. 

Duty of care  

We should be aware that it is always the responsibility of the host government to protect all persons within its borders, however, the corporate host has a duty of care to understand any associated limitations. Assessments must always include analysis of the local response capacity and provide for reasonable additional mitigation on prominent issues.   

Finally, the assessment must remain under continuous review and reflect any changes to the landscape, up to and throughout onsite execution of the event.


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.

Visit our Homepage www.powermillsolutions.com  or contact us for more details.