EXHIBITION NEWS July 2017 - Page 43

COLUMN Industry View Mark Clayton, managing director, InEvexco and ESSA board member highlights three key risks facing the exhibition industry Prepare for change, always I nsurance is the mechanism we use to mitigate the negative consequences of changes to our circumstances. Whether you’re considering a simple life insurance policy or a detailed and complex business continuity insurance product, keeping your policy up to date is essential. It won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that we live in a rapidly changing world, and it seems particularly volatile and unpredictable at the moment as political, military and technological certainties are dissolving and coalescing at what might seem to be an alarming rate. I believe that today the event and exhibition industry faces three serious tests of its preparedness, in the form of terrorism, cyber-security and the death of the monarch. All three of these risks can be insured against. Terrorism, as we have witnessed, strikes unexpectedly and with appalling consequences. It may seem cold- hearted to consider, in the face of mass murder and destruction, the long- term commercial consequences of an attack. However, we must remember that many lives and livelihoods depend on the revenues generated by events and exhibitions, and whilst terrorism insurance cannot stop a terrorist attack, its various forms can signifi cantly mitigate the medium and long terms effects of fi nancial loss following an incident, including damage to buildings, cancelled or postponed events, and the resulting loss of revenue. Cyber security is something we’ve all had to take a lot more seriously of late. The advent of new threats like ransomware worms, and the established but growing threats of email phishing scams and data theft, have coincided with the growing computerisation of literally everything, to create very widespread vulnerabilities. The advance of mobile technology has compounded the risk, now that everyone has a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet full of personal and business data, just waiting to be left on a train. The consequences of a cyber attack can range from the very minor – a single workstation locked by ransomware – to the serious data breaches and data theft that can collapse customer confi dence in a business overnight or result in the loss of valuable commercial information. The death of the monarch might seem like a certainty, as it is for all of us, and not a risk that needs mitigation. But for the exhibition and event industry, the death of the monarch is a serious issue. There’s a carefully planned and orchestrated period of national mourning and ceremonial observances that will follow, with an unknown effect on exhibitions and events that are in progress. From road closures to collapsing visitor numbers, the death of the monarch is unquestionably going to have a short-term impact on the industry, and for some event industry organisations this impact will be very strongly felt. As individuals, there’s evidence we’re paying more attention to our personal documents like wills, trusts and insurance, and reviewing them to ensure they are current and appropriate to our current circumstances. It’s my hope, and indeed my mission, to convince everyone reading this column to think about their insurance more frequently and to keep it under periodic review. Speak to your insurers, and satisfy yourself that your business insurance policies are up-to- date and that they offer appropriate cover for risks currently threatening your business, the country and the world. As a member of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) board, I’ve contributed to the most recent review of the protection provided through the ESSA Bond, and we’re very pleased we have updated and extended coverage, enhancing its international scope and value to support our members. It is the ESSA board’s duty to ensure the members receive the greatest value of their membership, and updating the bond has been central to this effort, as it should give exhibitors and organisers even more reasons to ‘Use an ESSA Member’. exhibitionnews.co.uk | July 2017 43