A visit to Australia by a US President presents as many risks as it does opportunities. The eyes of the world are on us - which is great for tourism and business, but we also carry a heavy security burden in today’s age of terrorism.
While Obama’s visit has now been postponed, we have an opportunity to reflect on the risks associated with high profile people and events.
There is always a trade-off when high profile dignitaries visit a country. The APEC Conference of 2007 is a great example. Australia received amazing worldwide exposure as the host nation and our major business and tourism industries benefited. On the downside, Sydneysiders were inconvenienced by street closures and security checks while small business bore the brunt of a public holiday.
Part of the risk management process is to identify the risk and reward factors associated with an event. Reducing or removing the risks should ensure a greater reward.