Oct 01, 2013 How to Embed Corporate Social Responsibility into Your Next Event
Every event marketing agency seems to have an instinctive understanding of the importance of corporate social responsibility. But how can you incorporate it into your next event—and, for that matter, every event that follows?
Some would say it’s enough to donate the leftover flowers from your event to a local nursing home, brightening the day of the residents while cutting down on needless waste. That’s certainly one way to do it. A small, thoughtful gesture like that can go a long way in generating goodwill around your corporate brand.
Want to have an even greater impact? Give gifts that leave behind lasting value for the recipients—and don’t be shy about asking partners for help.
Case in point: the Leerink Healthcare Leadership Summit, which Wilsonwest recently planned. The Forum, which ran for three days in the delightful Napa Valley last week, included keynote presentations, panel discussions, and strategic and recreational interactions designed to help attendees generate the innovative ideas and relationships that will influence and guide the future of the healthcare industry.
But Leerink seeks to do much more than just help healthcare leaders provide better care at a lower cost. They’re truly committed to increasing health and wellness in the general population. So the challenge arose for Wilsonwest as event planners: how can we not only infuse this entire event with a wellness theme, but also leave behind resources that help the broader community embrace a better way of life long after the event has ended?
Well, one way to help event attendees focus on health and wellness is to include a yoga component in the event. Yoga, of course, is typically done on mats, with a few other supplies needed. I realized that finding a donor for the yoga supplies would both save money for Leerink and give another organization the chance to do a good turn.
But how to take the corporate social responsibility element one step further? And then it hit me: what about donating the yoga supplies to a high school after the event, and helping that school establish a wellness program?
So I called my friends at Chopra Center in southern California. They were not only willing to donate the yoga supplies, but also connected me with an expert who could help a high school launch its wellness program. (Something about asking an organization for supplies and involvement, rather than just money, totally changes the tone of the conversation!)
The high school we chose is Gateway High School in San Francisco. Gateway serves about 450 economically, racially, ethnically, and intellectually diverse high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s a school where personal integrity, responsibility, and respect for others still matter—which makes it a perfect fit for a wellness program.
Chopra Center donated the mats and instruction. Leerink benefited from Chopra Center’s involvement at the event (which was a huge success). Years of Gateway High School students will continue to benefit from the yoga equipment and Chopra Center’s instruction. And Leerink has established an ongoing, visible sign of its community involvement.
So, don’t say you don’t even know where to get started with strategic social responsibility! A quick brainstorm with your core team can often generate all the ideas you need. Once the ideas start to flow, you’ll also start thinking of partners who can help you with the event components you need. And don’t forget: Wilsonwest is here to help with all your corporate social responsibility initiatives.