The hospitality industry has come a long way with give-back efforts to local and global communities through meetings and events. More meetings professionals are implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) elements into their meetings and events that are relevant to their goals and the local community’s needs; however, many meetings professionals are not including it because it’s an additional item they have to check off their list.
How does social responsibility become part of who we are as individuals, and how can it become widely embraced in the meetings and events industry? From an organizational standpoint, this can be a very different experience and one needs to understand an organization’s value and mission in order to successfully implement CSR efforts.
We wanted to highlight a wonderful testimonial of how to weave in your CSR to your ROI. A client’s theme was “transformational change.” Impact4Good, an organization that works to integrate community services into corporate events, recommended their “Give a Hand” program, which tasked teams with building prosthetic hands for global amputee victims. What can be more transformational in one’s life that regaining use of a limb? In this case, the client saw the program not only as a way to give back, which is indeed important to their company, but as a means to strategically align with the goals of their event.
There are many ways to ensure that your events are more socially responsible. Each step in the process can be aligned with a variety of organizations that help you continue your CSR mission before and during your event. Partnering with the right suppliers along the way can ensure that you are both giving back and paying it forward. Here are some ideas:
- Working with a DMC/transportation company that uses energy-efficient vehicles to transport attendees makes a positive impact on the environment by minimizing carbon footprints.
- If you want to engage your team in a local project to give back to the community, check out Impact4Good, a socially conscious corporate team-building company that works with organizations to create programs built around giving back.
- Use water stations instead of bottled waters on breaks and provide water containers to your attendees that are made from recycled goods. For those water containers or other eco-friendly giveaway items, consider BoundlessNetwork.
There are endless ways to incorporate social responsibility and sustainability into your meetings and events. The experience will have a far-reaching effect, as your associates share their stories on social media and tell their circles about it.
Here’s to creating better and more socially responsible events!
Director of Business Development
Michael Shannon, CMP, HMCC
Director, Business Development, Northeast
Business Events Canada