Sometimes something – or someone – comes along that really moves you. Not all the time, but at the right time. It’s what we do.
As meetings professionals, we are charged with creating meetings that matter, moments that inspire and events that push the limits to motivate others.
Each request for proposal (RFP) and meeting is purposefully geared toward an outcome; we have control over what we choose to include and the ideas we expose to our guests.
Based on the desired outcomes, we can strategically design programs to increase networking, educate on new process or products, reward behaviors, celebrate success or create change. At other times, we strive to be socially responsible and ignite a fire in our guests to be grateful, to educate or to share their success with others. It’s the perfect time of year to share some of our most impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) events and the elements that contributed to their success.
Desired outcome: A team bonding experience centered around the company’s values
Recently, a client wanted to ensure its employees understood that the company’s values weren’t just words on the conference room walls. Its leadership decided to incorporate its values into everything its employees do, including all of their team-building exercises. They chose to focus on “family” and “helping others.” Together, we collaborated on building a park for Sunshine Acres – a home for children who have been separated from their parents. The group of 500 volunteers proceeded to do the seemingly impossible: transform an empty dirt lot into a 20,000 sq. ft. park for the kids – something the staff at Sunshine Acres had desperately wanted and needed for more than five years.
In less than five hours, the volunteers installed irrigation/water lines, laid down 4,000 sq. ft. of grass/sod, planted 300 trees and bushes, hand-built and painted park benches and planter boxes, and constructed a walking path around the perimeter of the park.
The team even had enough time to re-surface an existing skateboard park and basketball court, beautify a concrete center road divide with plants and flowers, and assemble dozens of “build-a-bear” teddy bears for children living at the home.
The most-repeated comment from the event was, “It’s wonderful to work for a company that really cares.”
Learn more about this experience.
Desired outcome: Show appreciation to American heroes while creating a networking and bonding experience
In America’s Finest City (aka San Diego), we are surrounded by patriotism and there are many ways to show our gratitude for our service members. For this particular client, we partnered with STEP: Support The Enlisted Project. On the day of the event, we invited several STEP representatives to speak about their experiences, many of which involved great sacrifice. Their touching stories brought to life the real-life tragedies that our enlisted men and women endure.
As a result, a fully motivated audience built over 100 wheelchairs that were donated to the organization. They exceeded their donation goals and guests stood in long lines to personally thank the speakers.
Desired Outcome: To create awareness and support employees’ personal service goals
A client recently wanted its guests to understand the importance of supporting your local community and giving back to this company. This client didn’t want to limit its guests by organizing an event and choosing a charity for them. Instead, the client hired a motivational speaker to share inspiring stories of the impact that they personally had while working for different charities. The speaker educated them on how simple steps can really makes a big difference. The organization then granted each guest a bank of volunteer hours and a gift card to be used for a charity of their choice.
Lisa Ling, an inspiring speaker at the 2011 FICP Annual Conference, shared stories from her popular TV show, Our America, which shines a light on the many challenges our fellow Americans face, and how we can get involved and make a difference. She concluded by sharing a conversation she had with Oprah, in which Oprah summed up the sentiment, and call-to-action this way: “Now that you know… you can’t pretend that you don’t.” I remember the standing ovation like it was yesterday.
Another recent FICP event speaker, Alex Sheen, shared his amazing tribute to his beloved father, the because I said I would initiative, which has distributed nearly 10 million “Promise Cards” to individuals inspired by his story around the world. One of the most powerful stories he shared was about a father with terminal cancer who pledged to write 826 inspirational “napkin notes” such that even if he was no longer able to be there, his daughter would find a handwritten message from him in her lunchbox; one each day until she graduated from high school.
After his incredibly moving presentation, Alex asked the question of the FICP community – what promise will you commit to writing, to make a difference in the life of someone you care about?
Do you have a memorable CSR activity that you've experienced or incorporated into your event? Share it on TheNetwork!
Regional Vice President of Sales
ACCESS Destination Services
Partner, Sr. Account Executive
SpeakInc Speakers Bureau