You've never had to think about risk management the way you do now. Which is why we've devoted much of this issue to contingency planning, hotel security, and staying safe on cruises.

People who plan internationally have additional concerns — especially for incentive trips, where the destination is the incentive. Even if the qualifier isn't intimidated, his or her spouse might not want to travel to certain parts of the world. In this month's cover story, beginning on page 16, we speak with three SITE Crystal Award winners, all of whom had to relocate their trips, about the importance of having a Plan B.

Another issue: Is your hotel really safe? Many hotels have been reluctant to put visible security measures in place in the event that they might inconvenience guests. Others, such as the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, have been smart and pumped up their efforts and training, and then used that to their advantage. The Monteleone is one of only three hotels in the country to be accredited by SafePlace, an independent safety accreditation company. As Alan Orlob, vice president of loss prevention at Marriott International Inc., told our writer for the article on hotel security on page 23, “Planners don't want to know what kind of pillows we have any more, they want to know about security.”

How do you start to work risk management into your planning? In the article on page 21, Paul Kirvan, editor of Contingency Planning and Management magazine, suggests following the daily news and researching the history and background of suppliers. Then, do your own risk assessment: Step back in the early planning stages and holistically assess the threats to your event — as well as the possible effects.

Finally, develop a plan. “Emergency response and recovery plans for meetings do not have to be complex documents,” he says. “Each plan can be as simple as one to two pages.”

Check out our Web site for dozens of additional articles on managing risk: meetingsnet.com/risk_management/index.htm.

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