SafeSpace Plus™

Venus Piñeyro

CEO and Founder

Empowering Event Organizers and Venue Leaders to Create Safe and Inclusive Spaces

Revolutionizing Meetings, Events, and Conferences: The SafeSpace Plus™ Impact

SafeSpace Plus ™ debuted on the international stage at Cvent CONNECT Europe. We immersed ourselves in a world where connection is the tool to achieve innovation and business results.  The leaders of Cvent created an environment where inclusivity was an action lived out in real-time.

The Importance of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Enterprise Events.

The pandemic isolated us all. We adapted and learned to do everything in a virtual setting. Events stood at a standstill, venues shuttered, and everyone was “zoomed out.”  Even then, the CEO of Cvent Reggie Aggarwal predicted the resurgence of the Enterprise Events, not just surviving but booming in an unprecedented wave.

Connection is a basic human need, and collaboration in a community is essential to the innovation process. Meeting Professionals International (MPI) shares that 1.8 million US meetings and events occur annually, attracting over 205 million participants.

  • 270,000 conventions, conferences, or congresses; 
  • 66,000 incentive meetings; 
  • 11,000 trade shows; 

The U.S. hotel industry recovered beyond its pre-pandemic state with a 56.9% improvement over 2020’s low. Over 72% of these meetings (1.3 million) are corporate or business-related, so the impact for everyone engaged in professional conferences and events is outsized and substantial.

The Imperative of a Safe and Inclusive Enterprise Events

In the Enterprise Events, creating safe spaces is not just a nicety but a business imperative. A place where harassment, discrimination, bullying, or threats are present can lead to severe repercussions, significantly impacting the reputation of an event planner, the venue that hosts it, and the organization that sponsors it.  

Professionally, we get together to advance business outcomes, including developing our teams.  The report “Getting Real About Inclusive Leadership” identified that 18% of employee innovation is directly linked to positive experiences of inclusion, underscoring the value of open expression for optimal solutions. Further, Catalyst’s research found that positive experiences of inclusion are fundamental to 49% of team problem-solving, 35% of work engagement, and 20% of employee retention.

Consider the economic impact: businesses lose an estimated $600 billion annually due to employee turnover. In stark contrast, organizations that cultivate high psychological safety report numerous advantages:

  • 76% increase in engagement
  • 50% boost in productivity
  • 74% decrease in stress levels

Changing a long-standing paradigm with SafeSpace Plus™ 

We often say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Events previously suffering from issues and complaints now experience 100% participant safety and deep engagement. Suddenly, the late-night incident response craziness becomes a well-understood process, enabling ease and grace when a response is needed. 

We tackle the complex issue of misconduct with a simple and frictionless approach.  When people from varied backgrounds gather, they bring unique ideas and experiences, leading to creativity and innovation and creating friction and possible conflict.

In Cvent Connect Europe, the organizers carved the space to have these conversations.  During the panel “Safeguarding in B2B Events: Prioritising Attendee’s Safety and Comfort,” moderated by Claudia Winkleman,  SafeSpace Plus™ CEO Venus Piñeyro engaged in dialogue with colleagues Lizzy E. and Gabrielle Austen-Browne shedding light on why, and how to address misconduct and the impact of looking the other way. 

Strategies for Creating Empowering Environments

SafeSpace Plus™ advocates including the following to have inclusive events: A diversity and inclusion policy, a diverse speaker lineup, accessibility, and networking opportunities.  In addition, leaders must include the required components of a SafeSpace:

  1. Deliberate statement at the event opening declaring it a SafeSpace
  2. Clear and unambiguous code of conduct and acknowledgment of agreement by all
  3. Anonymous incident reporting mechanism
  4. Visual queues, physical in high-traffic areas and digital in event apps with a link to the incident reporting mechanism
  5. Standard Operating Procedure with clear accountability to respond to incidents
  6. Training for the incident response team

SafeSpace Plus™ in Action: “The proof is in the pudding.”

Our young organization validated SafeSpace Plus™  impact in events held this year with 200-5,000+ attendees. 

 “SafeSpace Plus ™ was a true game-changer at the ALPFA Convention,” shared Caren Valentina Russian, Manager of Chapter Operations at ALPFA Inc. “With over 5,000 participants, ensuring that each person had a space where they felt heard and supported in case of any incident was invaluable.”

SafeSpace Plus™ has proven its effectiveness in creating secure and inclusive environments. Experienced leaders everywhere are realizing the criticality and the gap we have faced in the industry.  

“In my three decades of keynote speaking, I have seldom encountered an initiative as innovative and essential as SafeSpace Plus™. It is a paradigm shift in how we ensure safety and comfort in meetings, conventions, and conferences.

“Alan Weiss, PhD, renowned author of “Fearless Leadership” and over 60 other works

We invite you to join us at SafeSpace Plus™ in this critical mission to erase workplace misconduct. Let’s create environments where everyone feels secure, valued, and empowered. Stay tuned for more updates as we strive to revolutionize the MICE industry into a safe and inclusive space for all.

Sources: Gartner Research and reports like Gallup’s State of the American Workforce and Harvard Business Review’s “The Neuroscience of Trust”.

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