British Airways and IHG advocate pro-active approach to crisis management

British Airways and Intercontinental Hotels Group urged event planners to plan in advance for crises, following the volcanic ash cloud, airline strikes and terror attacks.

Crisis management is critical, say BA and IHG
Crisis management is critical, say BA and IHG

Taking a pro-active approach to crisis management is critical for event planners, according to British Airways head of business resilience Saroj Sodi and IHG senior vice president global risk management John Ludlow.

"Brand reputation really sells in the airline industry, so we are now taking a more pro-active approach," said Sodi.

She was speaking at Grass Roots’ Meetings Industry Forum, and was joined by Ludlow and the agency’s group operations manager Karen Brock to share tips on tackling crises.

Ludlow added: "Without a strong corporate culture, you haven’t got a prayer of crisis management. Any time you aren’t in a crisis, you are about to be. You have to be risk aware."

According to Grass Roots’ Brock, it is essential to have a crisis management plan to "ensure the commercial impact on the business is minimised", as well as safeguarding delegates and staff.

In creating a successful crisis management plan, Brock recommends:

  • Define the objectives
  • Write a crisis response policy
  • Identify third party specialist crisis management team support
  • Train management and staff and communicate with third party suppliers 
  • Simulate a crisis to test how robust people and policy are
  • Share with the client and interface with their own policies
  • Be prepared
  • Document experiences and update policies

"The next crisis won’t be exactly the same but learnings can be passed on," added Brock.

 

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