by Kathie Niesen
The case of Erin Andrews suing a major hotel chain for allowing a stalker to obtain her room number and then occupy a neighboring room is so disturbing. If you have heard the story you know the stalker went on to record her naked through the peephole and then put the video on the internet where nearly 17 million people have viewed the video. That a hotel employee, even four years ago would give out her room number and abet this horrible deed is truly shocking.
Again, nearly 17 million people have watched that video. Can you even imagine that many people seeing you in your native state? I certainly can’t.
So who is culpable? Certainly the stalker who served some jail time related to the case. And what was the hotel chain’s responsibility in the case? Where is their training program and why did someone not question this man’s request when it was made?
And what really was the damage to Erin Andrews personally? Beside the obvious, a horrible invasion of privacy and of course knowing that forever that video can be accessed by anyone. Did it hurt her career, has it affected her love life? She claims yes and how can anyone possibly prove that right or wrong.
As meeting planners, we take safety measures to the nth degree and we should. We have a strategy in place to ensure the safety and security of our meeting attendees. We have all been trained to ensure that the hotel, meeting venue and even transportation have measures in place to ensure a happy healthy attendee and a successful meeting. What more can we do?
This blog and the recent one that Barbara Scofidio wrote on human trafficking should spark a discussion. Let’s talk about how safe we feel or not when staying in a hotel. How often have you noticed what is going on around you, in the hallways, lobby and other public spaces. How many times has the desk clerk announced your room number? How many times have you been concerned about the person on the elevator with you? How many of you have opened the door without calling the front desk to ensure the person is really a hotel employee? And what have you done about it?
Lets talk about it.
Kathie Niesen, CMP is the Owner of KMN Meetings and Events. She plans meetings of all sizes. Consulting services include instructional design, working with volunteers and faculty development. She is the SPIN Blog Coordinator and a member of PCMA. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Kathie Niesen, CMP
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