If revenue from your event is helping benefit a cause, then it’s time to shout about it
They say that charity begins at home and for heritage venues, highlighting if you have charitable status could be beneficial for your business. It’s increasingly pertinent as competition increases and if you are competing on winning business against a mainstream hotel or venue.
The advent on the Bribery Act means that companies must be diligent in what they accept in terms of gifts, goods and in particular hospitality. Tighter regulations have brought about companies having a compliance policy which aims to ensure that ethical guidelines are adhered to in business relationships. It’s been a game changer for many events and in particular sports hospitality.
Very often, part of an in-house policy includes whether there is a charitable angle to the gift, goods or hospitality. This is where it is beneficial being of charitable status, because yes, if you are set up as a charity then the profits driven from events do go back in to the cause. And ultimately it is seen by the corporate as a big tick in the corporate responsibility box.
Today’s buyer, increasingly the millennial, is interested in how they are helping the wider community. Location remains important but so too does social impact, corporate responsibility and having a purpose. Cause-related marketing, sustainability and corporate social responsibility, not only interest consumers but also employees, policy makers, thought-leaders and stakeholders. Hence, brands are all pushing their impact and purpose across the wider community, be it helping employment, using the local supply chain or giving back to charity.
For venues whose core business may be as a museum or heritage destination, the opportunity is there to help influence the decision to use your space. It’s a tactic increasingly put into play by the sporting stadia who are also seeking the events market, as confirming an event helps the relevant grassroots sport. Many heritage venues already promote the fact that commercial events are needed to protect their future and to help with operational costs:
• Historic Royal Palaces is the independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace, Kew Palace and Hillsborough Castle. Income raised from activities at the palaces, including venue hire, is reinvested in conservation and education activities to ensure they remain well maintained and open for all to enjoy.
• LSO St Luke’s is a Grade I listed event space located on London’s Old Street in the heart of the City of London. Repurposed as the music education centre of the world renowned London Symphony Orchestra, the 18th Century Hawksmoor church plays host to a diverse selection of concerts. Event hire of the venue supports the education work of the London Symphony Orchestra, through LSO Discovery which is based at LSO St Luke’s, the UBS and LSO Music Education Centre.
• The Science Museum and National Railway Museum are part of the Science Museum Group, with all funds raised from events throughout the year going back towards the collections and staffing of the museums.
• Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Proceeds from events held at the museum are reinvested into the gallery.
The Nielsen Global Survey of Corporate Responsibility showed that “more than nine in 10 millennials would switch brands to one associated with a purpose or cause.” Millennials want the organisations they work with to be actively invested in the betterment of society and in helping to ‘make an impact’. They want companies to be open and honest about their efforts and to be transparent about their supply chain and impacts. They want the opportunity to give back and be empowered to do good!
So, if you do have charitable status shout about it, be-CAUSE it really will be beneficial in securing event revenues and more importantly engage, and keep you fore of mind, with today’s buyers.