In our last blog we took a look at the initiatives companies are taking to make their events more environmentally friendly.
This week, we’re examining how corporate events can benefit the local community as well.
Incorporating CSR activities has become a way for event organisers to leave a positive legacy and offer added value to delegates by providing the opportunity for a meaningful experience.
Here we take a look at 5 real examples of CSR activities at events, to give you some ideas about how your next project could make a real difference.
1. IMEX Challenge – Getting physical
The meetings industry has been a pioneer in the field of CSR, with activities added to many of the annual professional events. IMEX, a trade exhibition held in Frankfurt and now also in America, is one such example. In 2010, the IMEX Group established the IMEX Challenge, a physical activity designed to enable meetings professionals to make a positive impact on the lives of others – particularly children – in a host community.
The inaugural challenge took place in Warsaw, Poland, where 20 volunteers helped create a playground and garden for children in a foster home. Subsequent projects have included building a bee house at a residential care centre in Slovenia for mentally and physically disabled adults and children, and a ‘healing garden’ at a centre for abused women and children in Las Vegas.
“Giving back to the community is so important but the truth is the volunteers and supporters always get so much back from the experience themselves – it’s always a win-win,” says Dale Hudson of the IMEX Group.
Story via meetpie.com
2. Facebook – Locate & Donate SmartHunt
Facebook combined a team building treasure hunt with a secret charity mission. Teams received clues on iPads, which they had to solve in order to navigate a route through the city, picking up mystery packages as they went.
At the end, participants unwrapped the packages to find puzzle pieces. When the pieces were assembled together, they were surprised to find a giant cheque. By successfully completing the challenge, they had earned $500 for local charity The Food Pantry.
“It was such a memorable event. Everyone on our team is still talking about how much fun the Locate & Donate scavenger hunt was,” says a Facebook spokesperson.
Story via smarthunts.com
3. FitLinxx – Build-a-bike
FitLinxx specialises in health and wellness apps, so it made sense to choose a CSR activity that would contribute to the fitness of the next generation. The company held a charitable bike building event, putting staff into teams to construct bicycles for underprivileged children.
At the end of the event, the recipient children arrived to collect their new bikes. For most of the children involved, who were aged between 7-9, it was their first bicycle.
FitLinxx says: “Everyone was so moved, and obviously surprised, when the kids came in to accept their bikes.”
Story via teambonding.com
4. Cisco Systems – Christmas shopping
When Cisco held its 3-day EMEA conference in Madrid it also wanted to incorporate an energising CSR activity that would give its 280 delegates the opportunity to see a bit of the city.
Their solution was a GPS treasure hunt with a difference – the trail map not only showed the checkpoints for teams to gain points but also the locations of some of Madrid’s toy shops. With an allocated budget the teams were able to stop off and buy Christmas presents for children at a local orphanage.
All of the gathered toys were presented to a representative of the shelter who gave an emotional speech of thanks on behalf of the children.
“The clients then left to get ready for dinner, swapping stories, feeling energised and more knowledgeable about Madrid and also feeling good about themselves because of the difference they’d made to those children,” says event organiser Go Team.
Story via treasuretrails.london
5. Gilead Sciences – Paws for a Cause
Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences opted to support a local animal shelter by adding a workshop making pet supplies to its conference.
Teams took part in a combination of pet-themed games, trivia, and word challenges to earn points to spend at the “Pet Store”. Here they could obtain the supplies needed to build dog beds, pull toys and cat scratch pads for donation.
In the end, points were tallied and a winning team was decided, but the real winners from the day were the animals.
“We had so much fun making the doggie beds, chew toy and scratch pad. It made our team closer and we appreciate it. We haven’t laughed so much and had so much fun in a while as everyone has been so busy, so this was just the medicine we needed,” says a spokesperson for Gilead Sciences.