Published on : Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The statement, known as the “Alliance’s Duty of Care Commitment” is a response to an increasingly adverse international climate, and expresses the provisions that each Alliance partner provides its clients to ensure that they manage and minimize the risks associated with organizing international conferences and congresses.
These provisions include a customized risk assessment and mitigation plan, assisting with selecting an appropriate insurance policy, and venue safety and emergency procedures.
World PCO Alliance President Kitty Wong says that the challenges faced by international events are greater than they have ever been, and few organizers are informed enough to make the critical decisions that will protect their event. “We’re living in a time of insecurity, and this insecurity affects the wellbeing of an international conference or congress. It’s incumbent on professional congress organizers (PCOs) to properly educate its clients and assist them in taking the necessary measures that will minimize any risks. The partners of the World PCO Alliance, as leading PCOs in the field, are setting an official example.”
For French partner Alexis Richard of Colloquium Group, the role of the PCO has changed: “We are no longer simply a congress organizer but rather a true crisis manager if needed. It is crucial for us to integrate all security aspects in our processes, and to anticipate potential crisis. Our clients need to be reassured.”
Canadian partner Jean-Paul de Lavison, founder of JPdL International, adds that while security might get a lot of lip service, the Alliance statement reassures clients that this issue will be thoroughly addressed for their events: “The entire Alliance network is totally engaged in the recognition of the security question. Beyond the critical issue of security, lies the importance of the optics of communicating…the fact that these risks have been addressed is highly pertinent. All the stakeholders and especially our participants need to be aware of what is being done.”