We live in a world where unpredictability is predictable. Whether you’re running an event at a local hotel or sending clients overseas, planning for the unexpected is a must. It’s one of the reasons why we ran a feature on emergency planning in our Spring 2017 issue. Don't forget to reread “The 411 on 911.” 

International SOS, a leading medical and travel security risk services company with offices around the world, including in Philadelphia and Trevose, has also shared its top five safety travel tips for overseas travel with us. 

1. Maintain a Low Profile: Don’t draw attention to yourself while in public and don't share personal information about your profession or financial stability. 

2. Be Aware of Cultural Differences: Many countries have different cultural attitudes and standards, so take the time to research your location before your departure. One example: Be sure to pack pants and scarves if you’re planning a visit to temples, for instance. 

3. Always Have a Plan B: Just like life, travel doesn’t always go as planned. One of the best things to do prior to a trip is to have a back-up plan for how a possible scenario could be handled. Ask yourself things like: What are my potential risks? Will I have a local medical or diplomatic contact? Who can I rely on in-country for transportation, security assistance, medical help, or emergency funds? Make an informal checklist with these questions along with the answers to give yourself peace of mind prior to travel. Have access to good maps, learn a few phrases in the local language and research any issues in advance. Also, be sure to follow the local area’s news. 

4. Communication is Key: Be sure you can make international calls, have a charger that will work in that particular country and pre-program essential contact information. Make sure friends and family know where you’re going and how to stay in touch. Leave copies of travel documents – such as a passport and itinerary – with friends or family at home. 

5. Safety on The Road: The threat of terrorism and natural disasters is far exceeded by the danger of traffic accidents. In fact, vehicle crashes are the number one hazard for travelers. In many parts of the world, driving is chaotic, streets are crowded, and roads are under-maintained. Do not try to drive on your own. Instead, look for a trusted driver, always wear your seatbelt and speak up if you feel unsafe. 

“Travelers typically spend more time researching restaurants and activities than investigating potential medical and security threats,” says Matthew Bradley, regional security director, Americas for International SOS and Control Risks. “The importance of advanced travel planning cannot be overstated. Travelers should be well-informed on health and safety resources prior to their departure and prepare accordingly.”

While you might feel safer having multiple security teams at the same event, you may not realize that unless handled properly, this can set up a scenario of confusion and chaos should an emergency occur. When it’s your event, it is up to you to establish a firm chain of command, so if a situation does happen, everyone has a clear understanding of who is in charge and what their respective responsibilities are.


The most overlooked part of any type of event.