World PCO Alliance issues security statement

The World PCO Alliance has released an official statement on its partners’ commitment to managing security risks on behalf of their clients.

The statement, or the ‘Alliance’s Duty of Care Commitment’ as it is officially known, 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 minimise the risks associated with organising international conferences and congresses. These provisions include a customised 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, yet few organisers 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 organisers (PCOs) to properly educate its clients and assist them in taking the necessary measures that will minimise 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 organiser 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 crises. 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.”

“The Statement can be read in its entirety on the Alliance website here.

Founded in 2009, the World PCO Alliance is comprised of 20 chosen, quality PCOs in the meetings industry from around the world.

Martin Fullard


Martin Fullard

Martin Fullard: journalist, presenter, producer. Martin is the Deputy Editor at Conference News and Conference & Meetings World magazines. He leads the digital channels on Mash Media’s Conference Division as well as heading up Mash TV. He is formerly a web editor at a national newspaper in the Middle East and motoring journalist.

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