01 Jan 2012

Corporate, Socially Responsible (CSR) Events; What are They & Why do They Matter?

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“Corporate Social Responsibility”

I love this buzz phrase (turned must-have strategy) that has been adopted and integrated on many levels in end-to-end marketing plans and corporate branding, as well as becoming a popular HR initiative to drive a healthy employee environments & retention.

Initially borne from the desire to be perceived as both socially and environmentally aware & responsible – this topical initiative is no longer a corporate trend – it is now the very foundation on which corporations can combine business with social purpose to drive a shared value.

I view this evolution as such an exciting opportunity to create a huge shift in the way we, as Event Managers, produce and leverage our entire event programs. Designing Events-with-Purpose (not your typical fund-raiser) THAT is the new trend, and it’s a powerful one.

I predict that soon we will begin seeing articles focused on ‘Corporate, Socially Responsible Events’ – but what are they anyway?

In my book, it means aligning both internal & external event programs (including tradeshows, user conferences, sales meetings, holiday events, etc, etc) with the corporate CSR, or Philanthropy interests.

It means opening up communication with key stakeholders responsible for CSR efforts around the company, understanding their initiatives and then including a ‘giving element’ or designing an entire marketing campaign around them in your event proposals.

It means CREATIVELY mapping your event theme to the non-profit purpose; fully engaging all attendees. I’m not talking your average fund-raiser, auction, or build-a-bike (although those are all wonderful ideas to incorporate), I’m challenging you to reach out to your resources & design NEW theme ideas that HIGHLIGHT the non-profit purpose and start including ‘Socially Responsible Events’ across your entire event program.

This is an exciting time for Event Managers & Producers to shine; to literally become thought-leaders in helping to create a shift in the way events are perceived!

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