Previously, few organizations outside of government seriously planned for a pandemic. One thing that COVID-19 has highlighted is the need to be proactive and re-assess an organization’s current plans to prepare, react quickly and ultimately, survive, a global pandemic. Best practices that have been uncovered because of COVID-19 can be parlayed forward to help prepare for future global disruptions, no matter what they may be.
Post-pandemic considerations for your business continuity plans and duty of care
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a plan that allows for continued operations if a place of business is compromised. Examples range from a localized short-term disruption to a problem that lasts several days, to more extreme examples such as the permanent loss of a building. By having a BCP, you seek to protect mission-critical services and give your organization the best chance at continued operation.
This type of planning enables you to re-establish services to a fully functional level as quickly and smoothly as possible. The first step is to find out if your company has a BCP in place, and how often this is reviewed and updated. We recommend an annual update; which becomes a standard part of the annual business plan and is completed with clear points of accountability.
Duty of Care Reporting Tips
Duty of care reporting goes hand-in-hand with a BCP and is, essentially, an everyday extension of that plan. Some quick tips on duty of care reporting:
Involve your security team
- Is reporting currently being provided to the security team? If not, open the conversation to review their reporting needs (including any new data points) and a cadence for delivering this information.
- If reporting is currently provided to the security team, review the output with them to confirm that the right information is being shared. If not, review and adjust as needed.
- Review your company’s security protocols and partnerships with the meeting and event management team. The data feed process by which the security team receives information from the meetings department should be updated regularly, or in real time, if possible. An API integration from Cvent or another meetings technology, is the most up-to-the-minute way to receive this information. At minimum, security feeds in xml format for input/uploading should be done daily. BCD M&E has the experience to assist with setting up and/or refining this process and can partner with you and your security department to design a way to feed this information to them in an efficient manner
In case of emergency planning
- Review duty of care protocols for using the reported data if an incident occurs. This should be clearly documented in your SOPs, including the name of your third-party security provider (if applicable) and any emergency numbers for travelers, which should be included in attendee communications
- Ensure your TMC is involved in the conversation to identify where there is overlap in information or gaps where meeting specific reporting is required such as hotel name and check in/check out dates. Any OBT integrations should also be considered as an option to automate group air reporting and consolidate this information within a client’s meetings management system
- How are you properly tracking employee movement, if they are not flying? Is there visibility into all attendee travel or just flight and rail? Consider lowering thresholds for mandating attendee registration for meetings and making attendee data part of the security and duty of care reporting
With any changes to your meeting program, it’s important to consider how this will affect your overall reporting output. As 2020 has become a very different year, the results of a year-over-year analysis will be skewed and not provide an accurate story. Now is the time to revisit the data you are collecting and how it is utilized given 2020's performance.
Areas of reporting to consider:
- Before adding new data points to your meetings management technology, review the effect this will have on your current reporting output and if different prioritization of certain data points needs to be adjusted - for example, if you are adding a new MRF or adjusting your current MRF to incorporate hybrid or virtual meetings. If data adjustments to data points do affect operational flow, follow with proper operational training to ensure a smooth transition.
- This is also a good time to review your reporting output to check that you are capturing the right data points and adjusting existing reporting and analytics to ensure you are receiving the reports that you need.
- Suggestion: For virtual meetings or hybrid live/virtual meetings, you may want to capture “number of attendees” in two separate data fields – one field for in-person attendees; one for virtual. This will help keep metrics such as spend per attendee, average room rate, average meal spend correct and consistent for analysis purposes.
- As reporting is reviewed, it’s important to ensure the right stakeholders are consulted so that any changes are considerate to all involved. Dependent on how you receive your reports you may want to consider involving: your BCD M&E account manager, BCD M&E business analyst, your meetings management technology provider alongside other key stakeholders who utilize your meetings and events reporting within your organization.