Mention the impact of a convention or large meeting on a community and you might first think of the business benefits of networking, learning and selling underway at the event. Another way the impact of a convention on a city is measured by the influx of visitors for area hotels, restaurants and retailers and the ripple effect of their spending.
There is an additional meeting metric for cities in hosting conventions and meetings. Meeting planners can provide a powerful boost for communities and non-profits as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities are an increasingly popular aspect of business events.
In planning social responsibility events, meeting professionals often connect with local non-profits to offer opportunities to their attendees to give back to the host city. These CSR events result in donations that benefit both the organization hosting the meeting and those in need in the host city.
These convention donations can take many forms including volunteer activities, donation drives, charitable contributions and even the commitment to provide materials left on the convention show floor following a large-scale event.
For example, the National Hardware Show partnered with Operation Tiny Home to highlight trends in tiny and container home living and raise awareness about housing instability across the country. The activities included helping veterans learn valuable furniture design and construction skills.
Show attendees made their marks by making a small donation and writing their name and message of hope on a piece of lumber to be used to build transitional homes to support the Veterans Village Las Vegas. More than $25,000 in donations went to Veterans Village to create and provide safe housing units for U.S. military veterans as a result of the National Hardware Show.
In addition, many of the exhibitors at the National Hardware Show donated supplies and equipment to local non-profits including Opportunity Village. Founded in 1954, Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people with intellectual disabilities, to enhance their lives.
Another major meeting, The National Automobile Dealers Association, donated $50,000 to the Nellis Support Team, a non-profit supporting more than 30,000 airmen and women and their families.
“No one is more inspiring than the men and women in the military,” said Richard Stephens, chairman of the 2018 NADA Show committee. “NADA firmly believes in community service and each year contributes to an organization located in the NADA Show’s host city.”
Some of the world’s best known brands are looking for unique and interactive corporate social responsibility opportunities to include in their meetings and conventions. Is your organization positioned to partner with meeting planners and businesses? Please message me if I can help your non-profit or organization.