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02/04/2009 – Meetings-In-Transit Part 2 : An Effective Solution To Corporate Travel Security
Yesterday I discussed the cost saving benefits of corporations exploring ‘meetings-in-transit’ in this post : 01/04/2009 – Meetings-In-Transit A Cost Effective Solution To Corporate Expenses.
Over the past few months I have been working closely with a significant Middle Eastern energy company exploring options to both reduce specific corporate travel costs and increase their operational travel security.
Through the process of exploring both concerns we worked together to develop the concept of ‘meetings-in-transit.’ While holding a meeting while in transit offered significant cost savings to my client, it also had the added benefit of executive security.
In many highly competitive fields there is the real risk of corporate espionage when billions of dollars are at stake. When a company books a hotel conference room, or a books flights for multiple executives to arrive in one city as a final destination, it is not difficult for their competition to quickly gather information and seek out ways to access the details of the meeting.
By developing a ‘meeting-in-transit’ concept high-risk corporations are able to book travelers on flights to necessary onward destinations, while coordinating flights to overlap simultaneously at a single major airport hub. By carefully planning what appears to be a coincidental layover period, corporations can essentially hold very private meetings in public, without their competitors knowing that a meeting is taking place. Those tracking executive travel generally only look at final destinations, not layover points.
Working closely with my client I spent a weekend at the end of February researching three airport lounges at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) and two at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport (AMS) to determine the ideal lounge to hold a ‘private meeting’ in public. After careful research and spending hours observing and making detailed notes of the potential lounges my information was passed onto my client. After discussing the options, my client set up a meeting this past weekend based on my information.
I was in attendance this past weekend during my clients meeting to assist with logistics and carefully watch the selected lounge during the meeting to see if our concept would be successful. During the entire meeting I sat in close proximity to the meeting observing everyone around them, and just as planned no one glanced over, loitered near or paid any attention to the gentleman sitting casually drinking coffee and discussing highly sensitive information they needed to keep secure regarding their company. The company’s security division was happy to report that in their eyes the meeting was a complete operations success, just as planned.
For companies who have significant security concerns, and who pay close attention to their executive travel security, the concept of a ‘meeting in transit’ is one that should be looked into and strongly considered. Meetings can be held discreetly, without competitors even knowing a meeting is taking place.
The cost benefit of such a meeting in relation to multi-million dollar or billion dollar deals is significant.