Every eventuality International SOS and Control Risks bring vast experience of meeting these challenges, having supported clients at events including the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cups in South Africa (2010) and Germany (2006), the FIFA under-17 World Cup in Nigeria (2009), the 2008 China Olympics and 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy. “Companies need strategies in place to safeguard their employees, clients and the business itself”, says Damian. “Each event has its own logistical and cultural factors, and those are crucial to the way we prepare.” He points out that, even at relatively low-risk locations, every eventuality must be planned for. David Lea, Senior Analyst for Western Europe at
Control Risks, agrees. “A security situation can arise anywhere, at anytime”, he says. “As we saw in Norway in July and the UK in August, medical and safety issues can spiral from nowhere.” Both cases show the importance of having robust plans and procedures for unpredictable scenarios. “With very large numbers of people and huge pressure on resources, it is vital to ensure the right level of response is in place”, he says.
Detailed contingencies The possibility of civil unrest or terrorism clearly has to be addressed. “An attack could see transport frozen and phone networks closed down”, says David. Even in peaceful times, there’s unprecedented pressure on transport infrastructures. “If the transport system breaks down, companies need detailed contingencies to ensure people’s safety.” Sadly, criminals are attracted to major events, so guests and employees need to know what to do if they fall victim to crime. “Visitors can find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, so security awareness training can make the difference”, adds Damian. And, inevitably, campaign and protest groups see public events as potential vehicles for getting their message to a bigger audience. “Companies need to be prepared in case their brand is impacted in front of the world’s media”, he says.
Huge influxes of people also put a strain on local healthcare systems, so medical advice and support is essential – especially in an unfamiliar country. Dr Michael Braida is International SOS’ Regional Medical Director for Northern Europe. “Anyone affected by a sudden or chronic medical condition may need help getting appropriate care, for anything from toothache to a heart attack or trauma.” He also points out that companies need to align their own plans with any health services provided by the event organizers. With large-scale visiting populations, the likelihood of disease also increases. New developments in H5N1 are a case in point. “We’re monitoring the situation with
avian flu very carefully”, says Dr Braida. “Implementing a Medical Emergency Response Plan, including education on such threats, can lower the risks.”
VIP provision International SOS and Control Risks offer an integrated service for major organizations, event partners, supporters and suppliers. “Our members want extra support – not just so that their guests and employees are covered – but so they’re accessing services that are dedicated to the event”, says Damian Taylor. “That’s why we’ve designed a package of VIP-level medical and security provision.” Advice and support for routine and emergency
concerns is available anytime from teams of medics, security specialists and logistics experts via phone, email and SMS in the run-up and during the event. “So if and when an incident happens, the huge benefit is that there’s just one hotline for people to call”, says Damian.
If medical attention is needed, there may be good public healthcare available, but visitors may well need help navigating the system. “We have plenty of multi-lingual staff on hand for these events”, says Dr Braida. “We triage the calls, manage all minor ailments over the phone, and use our excellent network of physicians for referrals.”
A suite of other medical and security solutions are available, including emergency response planning. Experienced security consultants will review the control measures around accommodation, physical assets and the security of personnel to ensure they’re fit. Local security specialists, security management and executive protection will also be deployed before and during the event. “For extra peace of mind we also have a house-call doctor service and onsite medical support”, adds Dr Braida.
y of rity
“Major events need a particular level of forward planning and support, especially to secure the right resources”, agrees Damian. “We’ve honed our experience to create a risk management package that we know works. Our clients look to us to provide a gold-standard service so that every guest’s experience is world-class – both on and off the stands.” ■
Hotline Issue 1, 2011 Hotline Iss e 1 2011 13 “ For any event ”
organized under our name, it’s critical to manage every health and security risk.
If you’re interested in finding out more about any of these services, please contact vipmembership@ internationalsos.com
and vipmembership@ control-risks.com
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