Gold Medal Security Ideas for the 2008 Olympics

by Larry Dietz, TAL Global

Preparing for Beijing

Practical insight and guidance on how to best prepare your company and personnel for the upcoming Summer Olympics

Gold Medal Security Ideas For The 2008 Beijing Olympics

The 2008 Summer Olympics to be held in Beijing, China in July of 2008 will be an unparalleled opportunity to not only see the world’s greatest athletes, but to experience one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating civilizations. Like any important undertaking, advance planning and preparation will make this experience a more positive one. When people do attend the Olympics, it’s a great opportunity to show support for their country. Make sure to pack some country flags to hold up for the athletes.

The purpose of this commentary is to provide practical insights and guidance on how to make the most of this once in a lifetime opportunity. We have also provided some Internet references and a high level checklist (see PDF at the bottom of the “References & Resources” section of this article). However, each organization has unique requirements and challenges so that this document should only be considered a primer. TAL Global would be pleased to offer additional information and guidance; please call us at 408.993.1300 or e-mail us at

Time Is Not Your Friend

Travel to the People’s Republic of China requires careful preparation. Special travel visas are required, accommodations reserved and security precautions taken. Planning should be under taken as far in advance as possible. As the Olympics draw closer, it will become more difficult to obtain choice accommodations and to insure that the proper security and other support resources are available.

Security Needs to Be Holistic

Security efforts in support of your personnel attending the Olympics must include not only traditional physical security and executive protection, but information and communications security measures as well. Executives in particular must be cautious when it comes to sensitive data and mobile phone communications. Organizations may wish to consider elevating their information security posture prior to the summer in order to smoothly handle the volume of e-mail that can be expected from travelers to China. Organizations must insure that all personnel traveling to China are thoroughly briefed on information security processes and procedures that should be employed while in transit and in China.

Logical Extensions of Travel

It is highly likely that individuals attending the Summer Olympics will want to visit other parts of China and Asia. It is in the organization’s best interest to coordinate these travel arrangements in advance. If your personnel will be enjoying other cities in China, it is in your best interests to insure that security is uniform across the country. Whether it is Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xian or any other city within the country it is important for travel to be pre-planned so that security and logistical details may be taken care of.

Special Events Planning

If your organization is considering a special event in Beijing concurrent with the Olympics it will be necessary to perform the detailed planning ahead of time. It is also important to analyze event venues in advance because site security requirements will vary by time and location. Special security may be required in the area of technical surveillance countermeasures to insure that vulnerability to electronic eavesdropping can be reduced if appropriate.

Government Relations

It is also quite important to consider how your organization will communicate to and with the various Chinese government agencies. A professional and credible Government Relations agent is a necessary element in successful business operations in China. Local professionals who have an established relationship with key government agencies can help make your operation go smoothly and help alleviate the bumps in the road that often complicate business dealings in China.

In conclusion, the Summer Olympics in Beijing represent a unique opportunity, and like an important undertaking requires advance planning to insure a favorable and secure experience. Call or email us with any questions or to set up a security plan for your traveling personnel.


References and Resources:

US Department of State Official Travel Website

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice

US Transportation Security Administration

US Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime Smart Tips

Avian Flu Fact Sheet

US Embassy Beijing

Official Chinese Olympics Website

Click here to download the related 71 KB PDF File
Contact Author: Larry Dietz, TAL GlobalEmail Author

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