Accepting a ride from a non-licensed car service, being followed off an elevator, getting flagged down by a stranger who says you have a flat tire, oversharing with a fellow airline passenger about where you’re going and what you’re doing … all are real-life scenarios that require vigilance while on a business trip.
And depending upon the location, stability and culture of your destination, how you react in moments like those could make a huge difference in what happens to you, physically and emotionally, according to Shelley Klingerman, author (“Vigilance: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Personal Safety, Self-Protection Measures and Countermeasures”), CEO and founder of situational awareness firm Stiletto Agency, and former marketing manager with Sony DADC.
“We have to pay attention to these things and just be aware,” she said, speaking July 25 during the keynote presentation “Protecting the Most Important Asset…YOU!” at the Content Protection Summit East event, part of the Media & Entertainment (M&E) Day. “We have to be vigilant, and keep our senses up. And I don’t think we talk about this enough.”
Women especially don’t discuss these potentially dangerous situations, and often don’t understand that by simply talking about it, knowledge is shared and confidence to act in a situation is learned, Klingerman said. People don’t like to think about bad things happening, but it’s a wise endeavor to keep personal safety at top of mind, she said. Fear can be a motivating — and good — emotion.
A survey of women travelers showed that 90% were so concerned about safety that it has an effect on activities pursued during personal time while on business travel, and 86% reported an impact on booking behavior, such as booking only daytime flights or a central lodging location. Eighty-one percent said their travel frequency for business has been impacted by safety concerns and 80% said safety concerns have impacted their productivity on business trips.
“There are simple adjustments that can make us less of an ideal target,” Klingerman said. While everyone may not be out to harm you, not everyone has innocent intentions. Realize that and create boundaries. Confidence leads to strong body language, which alone can be a deterrent.
Keep your head on a swivel, hold your shoulders back when you walk and walk with purpose, park under lights, keep your hands free and visible, stand by the control panel in an elevator, sit with your back against the wall, note the exits in a room, leave American-themed apparel at home, and trust your gut. Those are all simple yet important tips, Klingerman said.
“Understand that predators are innately lazy, and rely on the element of surprise,” she said. “Be plugged into your surroundings.”
The 2019 M&E Day, which also included Smart Content Summit East conference tracks, was produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA), the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) and the Smart Content Council, and was presented by Microsoft, with sponsorship by Akamai, BTI Studios, ISE, LiveTiles, MarkLogic, RSG Media, ThinkAnalytics, Amazon Web Services, the Entertainment ID Registry (EIDR), the Trusted Partner Network (TPN) and Richey May Technology Solutions.