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Ask the Expert – Risk Management

By: Ted Miller, HMCC, CHME, CHSP, CGTP, CGMP | Apr 30, 2019

Ted Miller_200x200Question: I am new to meeting planning and I keep hearing I should be aware of the Risk Management part of my job. Can you please give me an idea of what I should know?

Answer: Basically Risk Management is understanding what can go wrong and how should you plan to avoid putting you or your attendees in a potentially risky situation. It comes down to looking at what things could happen such as bad weather or a vendor not completing materials you need on time. It can also be viewed as looking at what the worst case could be for an event and trying to anticipate how you would overcome the situation. It is remembering that what can go wrong will go wrong and are you prepared to solve the problem.

Question: If I am doing a site inspection of a facility what things should I consider as potentially risky to my attendees?

Answer: When you are walking a facility make a point to look for the fire exists and make a point to look behind the doors. Many situations have occurred from facilities having exits but people could not use them because they were locked, blocked by a cart or stored materials. Look to see where there is an assembly area where you can find your people if they had to leave the room suddenly. Make a point when you are running an event to check these every day. It may take a few minutes, but if a situation occurred and you needed to use them they are useable.

Question: Our insurance staff is constantly talking about us needing to take Reasonable Care in how we operate. What does that really mean?

Answer: Reasonable care is defined as making an effort to ensure that you or someone on your staff did not create a situation where harm could come potentially to someone or damage property. Something as simple as seeing a wet spot on a floor and marking it with a sign and then finding something to clean it up is taking Reasonable Care. It also covers things such as ensuring that all fire safety equipment is in working order and is accessible and properly marked. Additionally, training is considered Reasonable Care. Did you train your staff to know how to react to a situation and who to call for assistance from inside the facility or outside?

Question: We are planning a conference in a country where we have just purchased a new facility. Are there potential Risk Management items I should know?

Answer: Whenever you travel to a foreign country remember that being an American citizen is not going to help you. You need to look into areas such as how health care is handled and payment received for those services in that country. Many countries require that you pay in cash and be prepared their fees are not cheap regardless of what you have heard in the news. The State Department offers travel advisories concerning many countries and can give you specific areas you need to know before you enter the country. Depending on the country you plan to visit you should to speak with the U.S. Consulate so that they are aware of your visit and give them your complete itinerary for the group, including multiple contact points. Also ensure that you advise them along your trip if you are not on schedule and have needed to make any deviations to your route. Being proactive can ensure you have help available if you need it.



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