You may have heard about the CEOs committing to a more holistic picture of their business and its place in the world. I'm optimistic that this is a step in the right direction. We need to help our organizations move in this direction.
"The Business Roundtable recommended that corporations must change the way they operate and now focus on their employees, the places where they conduct business and their vendors to ensure that everyone is treated fairly. This will come before the needs and wants of the shareholders." -Jack Kelly, Forbes 8/20/19
A new focus on these three stakeholders could change the way events are designed and managed. The conversation for the events industry now is how to leverage the momentum to make the changes we know to be in the best interests for our organizations and communities in the long term.
Employees: event organizers are problem solvers. Even when faced with difficult timelines or requirements, we make it happen. At what cost? Since our profession is known to be one of the most stressful jobs, our employers can start to look at how to change that. A more strategic, intentional design to which events are deployed is a good start. What is your suggestion for increasing the timelines you are faced with? How do we shift from reactive to proactive?
Places: event organizers choose the places we hold our events. Are they good partners in helping us create minimal environmental impact? Does the destination have laws or regulations that discriminate and therefore make some of our potential attendees feel excluded or unwelcome? There are a lot of resources for creating more sustainable events, which would take into consideration both of these factors. (Sustainable = People, Planet, Profits) Check out the new Centre for Sustainable Events.
Vendors: event organizers have been known to take advantage of their vendors. When you are "the customer", it is easy to forget the humanity of the person serving you. This is what all of this boils down to. We all need to look out for each other and remember that we're more alike than different but what makes us different is what makes the event, campaign, or organization better.
This is one simple slice of how these recommendations intersect with the work we do. How do you think we can support our organizations in doing this work? How do you cross the bridge from where we were to where we want to go?