Lack of information on duty of care creating concerns over security amongst young event professionals

Event Profs Panel

A lack of clarity around duty of care is causing confusion and creating a sense that the conference and events industry is not fully prepared for the security threats it might face, including terrorism, according to the young event organisers on QHotels' Event Profs Panel.

The findings are part of the third report from the panel formed by QHotels to bring events professionals with less than five years' experience together, to help shape the future of the C&E industry.

Specifically, the panel had concerns over who was responsible for the security and safety of delegates while at a venue attending an event, the security and safety while delegates travel to attend an event and the procedures to be followed in case of an emergency during an event.

The panel also highlighted the increasing influence of compliance in the conference and events sector and how legislation has the potential to change the face of the industry.

Contributing to the roundtable discussions were agency and corporate events professionals from PwC, Absolute Corporate Events, First Choice Conference & Events, Donaldson Davis, Compleat Conference Company, ArrangeMY, Brief2Event, Hilti GB, Gorkana and Porterhouse Medical.

Key findings:

  • A lack of information and limited education around duty of care is causing confusion for people new to the industry
  • There is a general sense that the industry is not fully prepared for the security threats it faces, including terrorism

"There is an assumption that care documents are in place, but we don't ask venues. I'm not sure who is responsible if anything does happen."  Christopher Whelan. PwC 

  • Compliance is playing an increasing role in the conference and events industry, and is likely to have a major impact in the near future

"Compliance will seep in to most industries eventually and will be strongly policed. In the end we will all have to work out how we include it in events."  Jennie Joynt, Hilti Group

  • Legislation, such as the Bribery Act, is changing the face of events, and could potentially push the industry towards smaller gatherings and more online communication

QHotels' Director of Marketing, Claire Rowland - who led the round table discussions - said: "We had some idea at the start of this project of what might be important to this next generation of bookers and expected technology, for example, to feature prominently.  However, some of the panel's concerns came as a surprise.  We didn't predict that our panel members would want more clarity around their duty of care to event attendees, nor that compliance would be seen as such a challenge. Our panel members are the rising stars of the industry and they haven't been afraid to address difficult subjects.  It's important that the industry listen and, where possible, take action.

"We have learned a tremendous amount from the panel and we're including those learnings in our plans for 2017 and the services and offers that we are developing. More importantly, we're now planning our next panel events where we can start to explore solutions to some of the issues raised and can continue to work with the members to deliver benefits for the wider industry."

Findings and discussions from the events can be found in the Event Profs Panel Report.

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