We live in a world where it is vital for our future to be socially responsible, not just as individuals but as organisations.
Most businesses today have a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy or plan outlining how they contribute to sustainability in areas such as energy, health, welfare, education, technology and communities.
In delivering CSR strategies, corporate events can play a valuable role.
As a professional event planner, I see on a daily basis how important business events are with social responsibility.
Here are five ways your company can incorporate CSR into your future events such as conferences and functions.
1. Donation in the registration fee
As a part of the registration or ticket booking process for your conference or function, why not provide delegates the opportunity to donate an amount to charity. Alternatively, you could incorporate a donation into the total cost of the registration.
You could also schedule a presentation to the chosen charity as a part of the agenda to highlight the impact that your delegates’ donations will make to the charity.
2. Donation rather than corporate gift
How many conferences have you been to where you receive a registration pack full of items that you never use and discard? Or perhaps you have received a corporate gift that has been gathering dust on your desk for the past year.
Why not avoid the wastage and make a donation to a charity on behalf of the delegate instead. Like our first tip, this is a good way to contribute to a local charity, a charity aligned with your event or a sustainability initiative.
From as little as a few dollars per delegate, you can make a considerable difference to a charity or initiative in need.
3. Charity-based team building activity
Incorporating a fun team building activity gets everyone energised and reinvigorated during your conference and can provide ideal break-out sessions.
They can also be a great way to contribute some tangible outcomes to a charity and really show how you are making a difference.
We offer a variety of charity-based team building programs in our everyday service for clients. These can easily be incorporated into conference agendas and enable the delegates to donate items such as bicycles, dog kennels, furniture, packaged meals and non-perishable food.
4. Thank you water
You may have heard about or even consumed thank you water in recent years. All events need drinking water in various quantities, so this may be something to consider incorporating into your next function or business event.
Whether you provide it for all your delegates or make it available for them to purchase, it is a great way to make a contribution to a global cause.
If it’s not water, it could be another product or service that you need for the event that a charitable organisation can provide. The charity may also be able to provide representatives to distribute their product or service to your delegates and showcase the cause in a more direct manner.
5. An environmentally friendly event
Social responsibility is not just limited to donating to charities. It also applies to the contribution to sustainable development of the economic, social and environmental community. So you could make an important contribution to the environment by making your next event more environmentally friendly.
From having a paperless registration process to energy-saving lighting and recyclable items, there are many ways to make your event more sustainable.
See my blog on ‘How to create a sustainable business event’ for some more ideas on how to incorporate this aspect of CSR into your next corporate event.
So these are five simple ways you can be more socially responsible through the corporate events you deliver but there are many, many more. Even through the content you deliver at the conference, this can make a significant contribution.
CSR is an important part of business life and your events are a great way to make some significant contributions.
Rachael Ziccone is Conference & Events Manager for Corporate Challenge Events - a specialist in delivering CSR events in Australia and New Zealand