Whether it’s reduced venue rates, added extras thrown in, or choosing a charity partner for the year, those involved in the events industry are certainly a charitable bunch.
Researching a feature on charity events I was amazed at the sheer number of charity initiatives that our industry is involved in. Not a day goes by when I don’t receive an email about an organisation having raised funds for charity, and among the masses of spam emails these charity emails can really lift your mood; knowing that the industry is one that is actively reaching out (and on a regular basis) to help those in need.
Having a charity partner is now the norm for associations and companies such as the HBAA, Compass Group UK & Ireland and a host of venues around the country – the SECC’s charity partner this year is the Beaston Cancer Charity, while the NEC has been raising money and awareness in aid of HelpHarryHelpOthers. These are just two of the many examples out there.
Fundraising events across the industry have ranged from bake sales and quiz nights, to sponsored bike rides or runs, charity auctions and even sleeping rough in Zibrant’s car park (good effort Paul Colston). Fellow agency Grass Roots also supports the Willow Foundation championed by ex-Arsenal goalkeeper and broadcaster Bob Wilson.
Compass Group, which organises a charity ball each year in aid of Cancer Research UK (its partner of six years), says, as well as raising funds, these types of events also bring the important work charities do to the forefront of people’s minds, providing the charity with a chance to spread their message and highlight the goals they are working towards.
This year’s ball further highlighted the generosity of both Compass and its supplier partners and clients who donate both time, food and auction prizes, with the 2014 event seeing more items donated than ever before.
And, of course, in this era of social media, it is easier than ever before to bang the virtual gong for support for direct individual action, via such platforms as JustGiving. There are great tools for personalising the appeal and really targetting your message.
Making a charitable difference is something I’m sure we have all been involved in in some form or another during our lives, but it is heartwarming to see a collaborative industry working to help those in need. Charity may begin at home, but the events industry has cleary taken the baton and winning the charitable race.
Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor