What religious meeting planners should consider
Richard P. Werth, who specializes in event and meeting security, compiled the following tips. Security should be a top priority for religious meeting planners, Werth contends, but in light of the September terrorist attacks, planners must take a proactive role in ensuring attendee safety.
Stay alert to local and international news/issues, which can change quickly and may affect your event.
Assess all your events/meetings, destinations, and facilities to determine potential risks and concerns. Be sensitive to attendees' concerns about their safety and about being away from loved ones. Make changes as appropriate. If there is a good business reason for events to continue, move forward cautiously and alertly.
Make security an integral part of the event planning process.
Consider lower profile destinations, venues and/or alternative meeting solutions.
Examine eventfor cancellations, changes, etc., to determine any effect. Review insurance policies to determine specific coverage.
Review event and travel policies and procedures to ensure that they are relevant to the environment in which we must now operate.
Ensure that emergency plans are integrated into every event. Develop contingency destinations and facilities in case venues must be changed.
To reduce your organization's name exposure, use only low-profile signage and badges, non-company name merchandise items, etc.
Establish a good relationship with hotel/facility security management.
Use professional event security resources that have an established track record and that understand your event's objectives.
Develop an emergency plan that includes critical local resources. Maintain accurate lists of attendees, their hotel(s) and room numbers, and their emergency contact information.
Provide attendees with security, health and cultural guidelines customized to the destination, venues, and activities.
Brief event staff on security and contingency procedures.
Establish effective access control policies and procedures.
Consider professional charter aircraft companies as an alternative to commercial air travel.