Leaving a legacy is great. It is something that lasts, that brings emotion and improves lives. With increased globalization, our society faces a dramatic increase in population, demographic changes and a growing social divide. The pace of technological innovation, climate change, and natural resource decline all result in a number of negative consequences to our every day lives, but also to our events. One reaction is to stick our heads in the sand. But whether we ignore these changes or not, they will affect us personally and professionally – and they will have a profound effect on how business is done around the world.
The good news is that we have the collective knowledge to grapple with these developments and to establish proactive responses and practices that will help us advance towards a more sustainable future. Our industry has the power to bring change outside our own industry and outside just one event. Here are some tips that are easy to apply in order to leave positive legacies from our events.
Start with a clear understanding of what CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) is and how you can translate it into your every-day work. CSR best translates as: "how companies manage business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society". There are a variety of CSR approaches but we have to consider these main drivers:
If you embark on the sustainability path, don’t go it alone.
Build awareness within your stakeholder circles and make your efforts known:
All organizations have to balance limited resources and effort, so the challenge is how best to deploy your energy to maximize the benefits of your business as well as society. So instead of asking yourself who can we help, try to analyse who can be helped the most.
Instead of asking what can be done – focus on what you can do best and
how this can help the local community.
There are some critical factors for a successful CSR strategy and planning a long-term legacy is one of them. There might be risks and opportunities for the different legacy impacts and deliveries, so a governance mechanism should be developed to manage these. Working with the local community, including local suppliers provides opportunities to secure the long term success and legacy of an event.
Remember a real dialogue can only be developed if it is based on trust, transparency and accountability.
Having a positive impact on societal issues such as living standards is not a "quick fix" project. Therefore long-term projects are strongly recommended especially when backed up by solid promises and measurable commitments and actions.
CSR is generally presented in the form of concrete actions. However CSR is essentially a process.
A process that aims to create value, and what better process to use when creating
an event than leaving a lasting positive legacy.
AIM Group International is a partner of INCON, the global partnership of companies providing professional conference organisation, association management and event services.
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Vice President, AIM Group International
Patrizia is Vice President of AIM Group International and has over 25 years of experience in congress management. She has been President of IAPCO (International Association of Professional Conference Organisers) and she is member of the IAPCO Council and Training Academy and treasurer and partner of INCON (Global Partnership in Conferences & Events). Active in education she teaches tourism management and marketing at the Universities of Economics of Rome and Milan.
As a volunteer leader Patrizia is Secretary General of FIMAC, the International Foundation Doctors for Central Africa, which is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the health conditions of people in Central Africa through cooperative humanitarian projects.