Top 5 Ways to Integrate Social Responsibility Into Events
I think Mark Twain said it best, “Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” In today’s society we can use social responsibility to strengthen our ties. Some may ask how do we as Meeting and Event planners build social responsibility into our events, while still trending the “wow” experiences, unparalleled engagement, thoughtful content, most enticing places to operate, and promoting people to people interaction for key stakeholders? The bigger question is how do we integrate social responsibility into our events without sacrificing anything?
The answer is simple. Redesign focus, and take a less passive approach. Agree to actively make social responsibility a topic, or sub-topic in your next meeting or event. Mention it in your collateral. Use it as a way to add substance to build a more memorable “feel good” experience that provides further engagement, or a “look what we did” buzz to keep everyone talking post-event. These positive experiences can add value to your event and ultimately your community.
Here are 5 active ways to do your part:
1 Sustainable Event Planning – Go Green! Reduce your environmental footprint. A few ideas: procure Green vendors, tighten up transportation efforts to reduce emissions and gas consumption, reduce signage by creating more strategic signage with renewable content, e-mail information in a mobile devise friendly format vs. paper handouts, use filtered water vs. bottled water.
2 Measure – Use a carbon calculator to implement a systemic process that is tracked, so you can report your achievements and ROI. Create an initial base-line, so you can understand what is reasonable to expect, and also how to compare and improve your practices and measurements.
3 Team Building – Create a hands-on social event that allows attendees to work together to give back to the community. There are countless fun and engaging ways. The opportunity can help strengthen the team dynamic and also increase communication and motivation.
4 Cultivate Changemakers– At your next conference create a specific meeting session or EXPO booth to facilitate ideas on how attendees can become positive changemakers in their field to help impact the community at large.
5 Socially Responsible Themes– Create activities that help attendees learn something new, outside of their field. Another idea is to add a fundraising element to your next event by donating part of the ticket cost back to charity, or integrating it into your next theme. For example, create a casino theme where the grand prize is an amount of money that goes to a charity of the winners choosing.