Home' micenet eMag : micenet August September 2015 Contents OPINION | BELINDA DOERY
n recent years, the regulatory pressures on
multinational corporations have intensified,
especially in foreign jurisdictions. Due to
such pressures, meeting planners are
facing increased scrutiny around third-party
outsourcing, information security, and
corruption-related risks. Meeting planners in
Australia and Asia need to be vigilant in the
planning process and ensure they have full
transparency of all expenditures. They also
need to understand the security risks in the
locations where their meetings will take
place. In today’s environment, meeting
planners and internal compliance
departments should work closely together to
develop an integrated approach to planning
One issue that is receiving significant
attention from meeting planners as well as
regulators is anti-corruption. The meetings
and events space in particular has been the
focus of anti-corruption investigations in
certain countries within Asia, particularly in
China. The best way to defend your
company – and quickly sidestep any
accusation of wrongdoing – is by ensuring
that you have an audit-trail of expenditures
and maintain an accurate reporting system.
Meeting planners in the US and Europe have
historically placed a stronger emphasis on full
transparency with meetings-related
American Express’ Belinda Doery examines the topic of navigating com-
pliance when planning your next corporate event.
paperwork than in Asia. Compounding the problem is that it’s not uncommon for companies
operating in this region to outsource meetings and events planning to third-party suppliers.
Under outsourced arrangements, meeting planners should insist upon transparency of
expenditures, including line-item budgets, receipts, and commissions earned or paid. When
planning meetings in emerging markets, internal compliance departments are often called upon
for final approval as they establish new layers of control, such as agenda review, control over
the attendance list, per attendee spending breakdown, and budget approval.
Duty of care
Bringing employees home safely and protecting company assets is another important issue that
companies must consider. To accomplish this, it is crucial to understand global security issues.
Security issues vary by country and it is essential that planners are up-to-date on specific
concerns to ensure traveller safety. The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
website (www.smartraveller.com.au), for example, is a great resource for security information.
When planning meetings in countries where unrest is common, it is advisable to include a
force majeure clause in a contract to help ensure that your company can cancel a meeting
without penalty, when necessary. Local security officials can also be a great resource for
planners who would like to become more familiar with local issues that may impact
transportation, venue selection, and security.
Technology may not differ greatly country to country, but it is important to make sure you are
speaking the same technology language. Meeting planners should meet with internal
compliance and their information security teams to:
• Establish a general set of data security guidelines for all travellers.
• Determine if the country/region where the meeting or event is taking place has unique risks.
• Decide if the country/region hosting the meeting or event does warrant additional security
measures, and what they should be.
As meeting planners continue to face new and changing regulations, an integrated approach
with compliance is becoming increasingly essential when planning meetings. m
“American Express Meetings & Events” is a service provided by American Express Global Business Travel
(“GBT”). GBT is a joint venture that is not wholly-owned by American Express Company or any of its
subsidiaries (“American Express”). “American Express Global Business Travel”, “American Express” and
the American Express logo are trademarks of American Express, and are used under limited license.
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