SITE - The Evolution of CSR in Meetings and Events

The Evolution of Corporate Social Responsibility in Meetings and Events
14th Oct, 2014

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been a buzzword in the meetings and events community for many decades. What is exciting is the evolution that sustainability and social responsibility has taken in recent years. Donating to a local charity, planting a tree or painting a wall, while all noble contributions in their own right, certainly don’t instil the kind of self-fulfilment that a company is looking to get from donating their time, money and people to a sustainable cause. Here’s where using a local DMC can really come into play.

Many times a corporate social initiative is a standalone activity. A great partner in your local destination can help you design a more strategic approach to this element of your programme. This involves looking at how local communities can be more deeply integrated into the event planning process. For example, a local DMC can advise you on how to give preference to social enterprise suppliers over less socially aware suppliers. This social responsibility can be integrated into all aspects of the programme, from handmade delegate bags on arrival, local artisans and community groups selling their products onsite, to using sustainability conscious food suppliers.

Or how about taking your CSR activity to the next level in helping educate the local community? During company training and educational days clients can be offered the opportunity to host a community event to coincide with their group training. The results can be transformational for those in attendance; by sharing management strategies from a high-growth global business, organisers are able to spark new thinking and energy, often in destinations suffering from the economic downturn. Think about how powerful this opportunity can be – the chance to transform cities and countries where you hold events by using the intellectual capital held by those in attendance? That is true corporate social responsibility.

Creating opportunities to help local communities is something that Site members are passionate about, as was demonstrated during the Site Executive Summit 2014 in the Dominican Republic. One of the goals of the annual Summit, in addition to delivering education, is to showcase a region as a fabulous destination for incentive travel and motivational events. Delegates participated in a day of community activities, including visiting a local family to see how they lived and drinking hot chocolate and coffee grown in their garden. This simple activity demonstrated support for the local community and was a great learning experience for Summit delegates.

As a member of Site you benefit from a network of the world’s best incentive travel and motivational events experts in 90 countries around the globe. So, when you are planning your next programme reach out to a Site member in the destination to help you create a memorable and motivational CSR experience that will leave a lasting impression on the community and your participants.

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