Corporate Social Responsibility at Events
When it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR), green is still the new black. How can you ensure your events have a low carbon footprint? Take it from an experienced event designer.
The What and Why of CSR
We know that engagement happens during a shared experience. In the same fashion, consider how engagement can magnify when that experience is a group of people who are giving back to a great cause. In today’s event world people not only want shared experiences; they want experiences to inspire them. As an event planner, it is our responsibility to facilitate this through CSR programs.
Messages of giving back are everywhere. From websites to commercials, clients and consumers are very aware of what their favorite brands are doing to give back. Additionally, consumers are ready to pay more for products who demonstrate a strong CSR component.
The first step to establish a CSR campaign is to identify which, if any, causes that your corporate client supports. If there is no current cause, now is a good time to champion one and integrate it into meetings are events. CSR incorporated events is not only beneficial to the event, it is a great way to highlight company values. Make sure your cause is clear and transparent and not simply a gimmick to sell more tickets or get more attendees to show up. Large, universal causes are a great place to start. For example, improving the environment or food security are both causes that are important wherever you go. Additionally, if there is a local group that you can partner with like a nature center or foodbank, you can share networks and resources.
Some CSR decisions are ones that would be made anyway. Of course you want the freshest food, organic and locally sourced. However, there can be small details that lead to larger issues that need to be planned out well in advance. Low carbon footprints start with every aspect of event planning: invites, vendors, venues, decor, transportation and how the trash is managed. These decisions might carry additional costs and that should be discussed with the client upfront.
Engagement beyond the event is important. Make sure that there is a platform for individuals to engage further should they choose to make a personal donation or perhaps volunteer with their family. Make sharing your great work a priority. Create a project-specific hashtag for photos, videos and tweets that can be shared across social-media channels.
Measure the success of a CSR event. Set up a number of indicators such as: the number of trash bins that evade the landfill, number of volunteers, amount of financial contributions and social media reach. Meaningful feedback is not only valuable to the company but also the participants and the cause that you are supporting.
Greening isn’t still the new black; is the bright sparkling future. With careful consideration and planning a strategic CSR program will not only create meaningful event engagement; all of these efforts go towards a pressing social need. Let Strategic Event Design take your CSR event to the next level and see the bright future for yourself.