Doing it for charity

Communication is the watchword for any organisation putting on an event, but even more so for charity organisations who rely on getting their message out into the public domain.

“Communication is key for non-profit sector organisations, and this generates meetings,” says Michael Webb, Director of not-for-profit sector event organiser Conference House. “The acquisition of knowledge is key to those who belong to charities and associations and conferences and events facilitate the interchange of information.

“Fulfilment of legal requirements (AGM’s), education and networking are frequently satisfied by coming together in a common cause at events,” Webb adds. “Then there are fundraising events, dinners, and outdoor events – it is a significant market opportunity.”

Venue finding and event management agency Conference Care has worked in partnership with the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) for the past 10 years.

Julia Green from Conference Care tells CN that the partnership allows the charity more buying power and visibility, while being a charity organisation means the agency is able to find venues that offer reduced rates.

“It is essential for charities to break even, so for a charity event, the rate is particularly important,” she says. “Charity organisations are often more flexible on dates compared to corporate events, and we often run weekend events for the NDCS.”

Valerie Copenhagen, Family Programmes Manager at the NDCS adds: “Conference Care uses its specialised knowledge to source appropriate venues, free of charge, supporting the charity each year.”

The Royal College of Physicians offers charities reduced day delegate rates, as well as added extras such as lighting for evening events, and says it has hosted 1,000 charity events over the past five years.

The venue was chosen to host the 10th International Donor Registry Conference and World Marrow Donor Association Workings Group meetings by the Anthony Nolan charity this year. The event included a full conference programme, parliamentary reception, 40th anniversary drinks and canapé reception.

Events industry charity initiatives
The events industry is a sector that continues to make a charitable difference, with charity partners and charity initiatives.

Compass Group UK & Ireland recently celebrated hitting a £1.5m fundraising milestone in support of Cancer Research UK, during its sixth year of partnership.

Compass added more than £100,000 to this fundraising total at its annual Wimbledon Charity Ball. It is held on the middle Sunday of the Championships at The Gatsby Club. Compass’ Keith Prowse team provided hospitality for 450 guests who enjoyed a three-course meal designed by chef Albert Roux, before a charity auction.

“As well as raising vital funds, events like this also bring the important work charities do to the forefront of attendees’ minds, provide them with the chance to spread their message and highlight the goals they are working towards,” says Andrew Pickup, Corporate Affairs Director for Compass UK & Ireland.

The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre has partnered with the Jarrett Foundation, a charity that works with businesses to send unwanted furniture, conference bags and other items to developing countries for children to use. Hundreds of leftover conference bags from the QEIICC were recently shipped to Jamaica and distributed to school children for academic use.

To celebrate its 25th year, events venue Westpoint Exeter launched a competition for charities to stage an event at the venue for free. The competition invited local and national charities to suggest an event they wanted to host at the venue. The top three charity days selected include a Family Fun Day for Families for Children, a fundraising and volunteer recruitment drive for Dame Hannah Rogers Trust, and an education awareness day for Hounds Trust.

The Clink Charity uses the hospitality industry as a direct link to help offenders break the cycle of crime by empowering them with work place skills. The Clink Restaurant  situated within the grounds of HMP Brixton, offers prisoners a true-to-life working environment where they work full-time while training towards a hospitality qualification. The Clink meeting facilities provide additional experience for the prisoners in training and the income goes straight back into covering the cost of training.

Whether hosting a charity event or partnering with a charity organisation, the events industry is certainly one that aims to make a charitable difference.

This was first published in the October issue of CN. Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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