A company planned a corporate retreat to award some of the best associates and gathered over 800 employees and spouses for a week-long event in one of the most exclusive resorts of Riviera Maya.
During the retreat, the clients also planned a stakeholders’ meeting in a luxury venue, off-site, and wanted to guarantee personal security for the twelve executives invited as well as protecting the venue during the event.
The CEO contracted ETS to provide event security, secure ground transportation, and close protection services.
Cancun, Riviera Maya, Mexico
ETS, through local assets, obtained a crime overview and a thorough risk assessment of the area, the resort, and the venue that was chosen for the meeting.
Although the areas were determined to be low-risk, the routes from the airport and between venues, posed a higher threat both for poor road conditions and frequent accidents, and for carjackings, armed robberies targeting foreigners and tourists.
Between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, there is a Police checkpoint created to deter criminal activities, discouraging drunk driving, and for assistance to the numerous groups of tourists traveling along that popular route.
In 2017 and 2018, incidents occurred on the private beaches of resorts in Cancun, located in the main hospitality hub, known as Zona Hotelera, where the majority of resorts and hotels are concentrated.
Armed “sicarios” (assassins) carried out attacks on rivals terrifying resorts’ guests who were not wounded during the act. Five known drug-cartel members were killed.
The other main concern was express-kidnapping, pretty common in Mexico especially in tourist areas such as Cancun, where foreigners and businessmen are the preferred targets.
Corporate events, usually hosted in well-secured facilities, were targeted by armed robbers in recent times, causing substantial damage to the hospitality business and the reputation of the entire Riviera Maya.
ETS informed the client about the risks and potential threats in the area and especially during transfers, offering a comprehensive security plan, divided into four phases:
- Securing the resort and the over 800 guests;
- Coordinating safe transfers from and to the airport;
- Securing the meeting’s venue;
- Coordinating secure ground transportation and close protection services for the twelve board members attending the meeting;
The client approved the strategy and cooperated in the planning phase by providing all the information about the venues, the schedule including leisure activities off-site, the attendees, flight schedules, and the meeting’s agenda.
We inserted ten close protection agents to provide extra security to the guests and coordinated with the resort’s security manager safety and security protocols to assist in case of medical emergencies, natural disasters, and any potential threat.
We also informed our liaison officer at the Cancun Police Department, in consideration of the number of participants and the arrival of twelve board members for the meeting
We supported the travel agency contracted by the client to organize the event and detached our personnel to assist during airport transfers. We also deployed our agents (with medical training and experience) to assist a few guests attending off-site events and leisure activities.
The meeting’s venue was surveyed and a TSCM was scheduled for the night before the meeting. Security agents were assigned to preserve the integrity of the conference room once the task was completed.
Low profile vehicles with a security driver and a close protection officer were scheduled to transfer the twelve board members from the airport to the venue. The close protection officers together with security agents assigned to the venue were in charge of protecting the attendees during the meeting and throughout their stay in Cancun.
The guests were scheduled to arrive in three groups, two days before the beginning of the retreat. The coordination with the travel agency and the local transportation company allowed our agents to safely transfer all the guests to the resort.
The owners arrived separately and were safely escorted on site.
During their stay, the guests had a few medical minor issues that were addressed and solved by the in-house doctor, nobody required hospitalization nor medical procedures.
The off-site activities were conducted safely and our personnel was able to assist without any incident.
The security protocols for the meeting’s venue were executed as planned in preparation for the arrival of the attendees.
We safely transferred all the attendees the night before, from the airport to their hotel and the venue, the following morning.
Our surveillance detection team maintained control of the area, reporting no potential threats or hostile surveillance.
The meeting was successful, without disruptions nor incidents. The attendees were transferred to the airport and safely returned to the US.
ETS planned for any possible scenario, preparing, and coordinating with local law enforcement, resort’s security, the travel agency, and all the parties involved.
Preparing in the early stage of the operation with full cooperation from the client, was crucial to plan every aspect of the operation and to create redundancy especially in regards to communication and transportation services.
Our personnel, highly qualified and with local knowledge and experience of the culture and crime trends, was instrumental to the success of the mission, maintaining discretion and a low-profile at all times.
Our goal was to enable the client’s operations while respecting the guests’ freedom of movement across the resort and off-site. ETS has been operating in Mexico for over a decade, coordinating large-scale corporate events for 100 Fortune companies, acquiring vast experience in terms of corporate retreats, stakeholders meetings, and HNWI’s events.
Upon completion of the task, we received double feedback from the clients and the travel agency that organized the event:
Clients feedback: “We, as well as our guests, felt tremendously safe and comfortable with ETS personnel. The security team was very pleasant, assisting us in so many ways with professionalism and such a calm demeanor that put everyone at ease. We were honestly concerned about Mexico, especially venturing out of the resort and during the stakeholder’s meeting but once again, having ETS on our side, provided confidence and the peace of mind we needed to conduct our business and enjoying the retreat. We are thankful and we hope ETS will be available to support us for many more events around the world”.
Travel agency feedback: “We have been organizing events in Mexico for the past 20 years, we are very familiar with the environment and we have worked with many security companies from the US, Canada, and Mexico. It was a true pleasure working with ETS that showed us how security work can be done professionally, maintaining a low profile, and building a great rapport with all the parties involved. The security team was assisting above and beyond their scope of work, showing competence and kindness every step of the way. We look forward to discussing a collaboration for the future that will add great value to the service that we provide to our clientele”.