Risk Management: Children at Meetings and Events

October 18, 2018 Cassie Uecker

Bleisure travel. It’s a thing these days, mixing business with leisure time. And for a lot of event attendees, this equates to the opportunity to bring family with them to events. Hosting children at your next meeting opens up a lot of potential risk and liability issues. It is not enough to make it an option for attendees. You need a well-outlined plan in place for keeping these little ones, and your company, safe.

Take a look at three components specific to children you will want to vet out as part of your risk management plan.

Safety and Security:

When bringing children along with them to an event, parents’ number one concern will be their safety and security. If you are hiring childcare, make sure they are fully vetted professionals. Check with the CVB or hotel for reputable companies and inquire about their years in the business and experience handling groups of your size with similar needs. Select a company that can detail their security and safety protocol and has staff that has undergone background checks and hold safety certifications like CPR. In addition, inquire about their staff to children ratio.

Another tip for an added layer of security—when designing your name badges, parents and children should have matching badges with their picture on them. This assists in the pick-up/drop-off procedures. Emergency contact information can be included on the back of the badge, and parents can provide any necessary medical details here as well.

Liability:

Having kids at a meeting or event not only adds logistical complexity, but also liability potential. When planning your agenda for children, be sure your company is covered from liable issues. If you are planning an activity for children, use a trusted and evaluated destination management company (DMC). The DMC, and any childcare providers, should all carry proper insurance. In addition, require the parent/guardian to sign a consent form that releases your company from legal responsibility. Consult your legal team on the verbiage to use.

This is a good time to review your liability insurance to make sure it is comprehensive of including children at your events. You may need to consider adding a rider to your policy. It is best to have your legal team review the policy—this is not a time to be thrifty. You want to ensure you have adequate coverage for the of scenarios having children at your events brings up.

Medical Risk:

You’ll want this in place whether or not children are in attendance, but opening up your event to kids is a good time to review your medical risk management plan. Take a peek at this article by MeetingsNet for seven steps on creating a comprehensive plan. You’ll want to collect food allergies and ADA needs for children during the registration process. When selecting a childcare provider, ask how they handle medical situations and emergencies. It may also be a good idea to have an on-site nurse available.

Even with the added risk and liability, many planners find the benefits of having children at events outweigh the negatives. With so many parents striving for work-life balance, this option allows them to fit a little family time in and offers the potential to extend into a fun-filled vacation. Remember to cover your bases when offering this family-oriented perk to keep your event and company safe.

 

Sources:

https://www.meetingsnet.com/risk-management/7-steps-creating-proactive-medical-risk-management-plan
https://www.meetingsnet.com/association-meetings/family-friendly-meetings
https://www.meetingsnet.com/religioussmerf/kids-are-alright
https://www.smartmeetings.com/magazine_article/family-friendly-meetings

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