May 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio May 2001 Current Issue
May 2001 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Eric Rymer, director of The Right Solution Ltd., a meetings consultancy based in Middlesex, U.K. (


  • If an unstable social or political climate exists in a planned destination country, seek pro-fessional advice early on whether to proceed. Consult unbi-ased sources unrelated to the destination.
  • Contact local suppliers for inside information about the destination and current conditions.
  • Contact the embassy or consulate of the host country, as well as the U.S. State Department, for details on safety, security and medical facilities.
  • Contact planners familiar with the destination for additional insight on possible security issues.
  • List pertinent destination information for attendees in the registration packet.
  • Distribute to attendees translations of phrases to use in the event of an emergency or to ask directions.
  • Inform attendees about important legal and/or religious issues, including possible harsh penalties for illegal drugs, the ban on alcohol in some Islamic nations, etc.
  • Advise attendees to leave expensive jewelry and other valuables at home.
  • Advise attendees to change enough money in advance to last the first few days in the host country, to avoid carrying large amounts of U.S. currency.
  • Remind attendees to bring enough prescription medication to last the intended length of stay, and to keep all prescription and over-the-counter drugs in their original containers to avoid misunderstandings with local authorities.
  • Individual attendees’ health insurance may not cover them overseas; investigate appropriate supplemental coverage, if needed. If the meeting organization will not pay for extra health coverage, inform attendees so they may research such policies with their own insurance carriers.
  • Consider evacuation insurance if local medical facilities are inadequate.
  • If you are unable to inspect the meetings facility in advance, ask about safety and security measures, including sprinklers, emergency lighting, fire exits and alarms. Such devices, while required in the United States, should not be taken for granted in other countries.
  • Ensure that travel and desti-nation arrangements for attendees with disabilities are in line with internationally recognized standards.

  • Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate to confirm what type of assistance they can offer in the event of an emergency.
  • Tell embassy or consulate officials about the group, and provide a list of attendee names and contact information.
  • Advise attendees not to display outward signs of wealth (expensive handbags, cameras, etc.).
  • Keep on hand a medical emergency fund in foreign currency. (In some locations, doctors might demand payment on the spot.)
  • If bureaucratic issues arise, turn to local suppliers you are using. Their knowledge of and influence in the local government might help exchanges go more smoothly.

  • Consider limiting personal and vehicular access to the meeting site if the event is high-profile or a high security risk.
  • Brief all meetings staff, as well as third-party vendors and on-site staff, about security issues and precautions.
  • Ensure that all classified material is securely stored.

  • Back to Current Issue index
    M&C Home Page
    Current Issue | Events Calendar | Newsline | Incentive News | Meetings Market Report
    Editorial Libraries | CVB Links | Reader Survey | Hot Dates | Contact M&C