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More planners acting on unethical requests

American Express Meetings & Events study finds number of event professionals acting unethically up 5 per cent in 3 years

Pictured: more event professionals have admitted to accepting unethical requests in the last 3 years, American Express Meetings & Events has found

Unethical practices within the events industry is on the rise warns American Express Meetings & Events, who has found five per cent more event professionals are participating in immoral practices than they were three years ago.

The company's research arm found 7.6 per cent of planners are willing to follow through on an unethical requests, up from 3 per cent in 2013. Similarly, the number of meeting owners who suspect unethical practices taking place also went up from 2 per cent in 2013 to 15.5 per cent.

The report found more positive news when it came to risk management, revealing it has vastly improved; 89 per cent of planners saying risk is properly mitigated within their organisation (up from 49 per cent) and 80 per cent of meeting owners (up from 56 per cent).

The findings have been published in American Express' newest report, Mitigating Risk in Meetings: Three Years Later, which was the result of interviews with more than 400 meeting planners and business owners. The majority (88 per cent) were from North America. (should we include this?!)

After noting the increase in unethical practices, report authors urged organisations to "educate planners on their ethical and reputational responsibilities and how to respond to these requests".

The survey also found a 15 per cent increase in the personal use of familiarisation trips, and warned these trips could "potentially create a conflict of interest" if the organisation’s policy does not clearly define when it is acceptable or not for a planner to accept an invitation.

On the subject of risk mitigation, while organisations are most likely to have policies in place, authors found that just over half (53 per cent) of planners always track their attendees whereabouts while an "alarming" 11 per cent never track their attendees.

They added: "When a crisis strikes, planners can respond faster and help more attendees if they can quickly assess the location of attendees, then prioritize their troubleshooting efforts. If attendee locations are unknown, meeting planners and owners will be unable to assist proactively."

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