In the final part of this series on corporate social responsibility (CSR) at events, Event Insurance provides top tips from its white paper on CSR strategies
While corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept, many outdoor events struggle to get a CSR strategy off the ground. This is sometimes due to a lack of direction or information, so here are five top tips for implementing CSR within your festival or outdoor event, and how you can make it a success.
- Assign a budget for CSR activities
You will struggle to have a successful CSR campaign without spending any money, so when planning your budgets you should always set something aside specifically for CSR activities.
Try to have an idea of what it is you want to achieve through your CSR activities and this will help you decide how much of a budget you need to assign.
Remember that CSR can be an investment if implemented correctly, and while it is not used to generate profit, it has many benefits that can improve your bottom line.
- Align your CSR strategy with your company values
Most businesses have a clear set of values they live by. These values help to define the personality of the brand and give everyone involved an idea of the way the business likes to operate.
When creating a CSR strategy, it’s important to take these values into consideration and ensure that your approach to CSR aligns well with your values. For example, if one of your core values is to be respectful, your CSR strategy may include a clean-up of the local community after your event in order to show respect to your neighbours.
- Choose a key area to focus on
Depending on the nature of your event, be it a music festival, beer festival, food festival or any other, there may be a specific area of CSR you feel it would be most appropriate to concentrate on.
For example, if your music festival directly impacts the local community through noise pollution and traffic congestion, you may want to consider concentrating your CSR efforts on improving relationships with the local community.
If you run a beer festival which uses a large amount of plastic cups, you may want to focus on an environmentally friendly recycling campaign. Decide what is most important to you and your audience and concentrate on that instead of trying to cover every angle.
- Encourage involvement from all staff
The only way to ensure your CSR strategy is a true success is to educate all staff members, from the top to the bottom, and to encourage their involvement.
Your staff members represent your event’s brand and if they are not on board with your CSR activities, your chances of success are much lower. Training staff on the reasons why you are using CSR and getting them to partake in activities will help to get them on board and will encourage positive growth of your strategy.
Promote your activities
Although CSR is not implemented purely for public approval, it is certainly something to shout about. Let your audience and critics know what you are doing to improve your impact on the planet and use those activities to draw attention to your event.
Festival go-ers are traditionally eco-friendly and community minded, therefore releasing details of your CSR activities will ensure your brand resonates with the audience well. Your event’s website is the ideal place to promote these, as well as on partner sites.
Taking influence from the most successful events will help take yours to the next level.
Appealing to all stakeholders and their needs, wants and values ensures that their interest in your event continues to grow, which in turn encourages growth and development of the event itself. If you aren’t already participating in socially responsible behaviour, it might be time to start considering it.
A great starting point is to do in-depth research, particularly when it comes to your audience. There is no point in blindly attempting to take action in order to impress; you need to know what matters to them and where the most negative impacts of your event are perceived, and rectify them.
You also need to know what your objectives are. Setting key performance indicators (KPIs) will keep your strategy on track. Perhaps you want to recycle 50 per cent of all waste at your festival, or you aim to get a local building rebuilt or renovated in a certain time period.
These objectives will give your strategy direction. Whatever you decide, your event does have a responsibility to rectify any negative impact and maximise the positive impacts it has on the world.
About the Author
Event Insurance Services was established in 1996 to provide affordable, reliable insurance for all scales of events. The team works with companies and individuals across the full spectrum of events, as well as supporting a broker network of over 2,500 brokers and 450 of the country’s top venues and hotels. www.events-insurance.co.uk