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December 11, 2015
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Americas: Crisis in Your Meeting Site: Do You Carry On or Cancel?


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Many planners have groups booked into European destinations in the coming months, and many are likely struggling with the decision of whether to carry on with their programs as planned or to rebook in a destination perceived as safer. The planner at one Fortune 500 company shared with us the process and timeline she used when having to decide whether or not to pull a conference headed to a Greece while that country was experiencing economic turmoil and riots three months before her start date.

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Photo by Freeimages.com/Andre Schaer

The planning team’s first step was to determine if there was a safety issue, a perception issue, or a physical impossibility of holding the meeting. In her case, there was the potential for all three.

Then, in partnership with the company’s security team, they developed a list of concerns that needed to be addressed. The security team helped with information gathering, which included background checks on the financial stability of the hotel and destination management companies contracted for the program. They also reached out to security sources in the country to relay firsthand updates and to offer context, comparing the current situation to past events.

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