We take a look at how and why to build CSR (corporate social responsibility) into the planning of your event.
As the industry recognises the importance of contributing to society, CSR has become ever more important. Event planning presents a unique opportunity to showcase initiatives and make a positive impact on the community and the environment. By integrating CSR into event planning, you can enhance your brand reputation and create lasting value beyond the event itself.
No one can do everything in one day. Start by identifying the specific social or environmental issues you want to make an improvement in and consider aligning your CSR goals with the core values and mission of your company. Common causes include environmental sustainability, community engagement, employee wellbeing, and ethical sourcing.
Sustainability is a popular consideration for CSR initiatives, as it is one of the leading challenges facing our modern world. Assess the environmental impact of your event and identify areas where improvements can be made. This includes energy consumption, waste management, water usage, and transportation. Set targets to minimise your event’s carbon footprint, promote recycling, reduce waste, and encourage, or even provide, sustainable transportation options for delegates.
These kinds of undertakings aren’t something that can be done alone. Involve employees, delegates, vendors, and partners and encourage their input and participation in decision-making processes, seek feedback on sustainability measures and integrate their ideas into the plans. This will help engage everyone involved in the event from conception to realisation in putting your CSR initiatives into practice and ensuring they come to fruition.
Outside of sustainability, improving your local community is always a worthy cause and good for the rep. Identify opportunities for volunteering or organising charitable activities related to the event’s theme or purpose. This can include donating excess food to food banks, partnering with local non-profits, or offering scholarships to deserving students. It may also be useful to contact local schools about work experience opportunities at your event for students hoping to go into the industry in the future. You can foster new talent and hit your CSR goals at the same time.
Be sure to assess the effectiveness of your CSR initiatives and measure the impact of your event. Tracking metrics such as energy saved, waste diverted, or funds raised for charity gives you something concrete to shout about! CSR makes a great marketing point to drum up further business.