Business executives attend conferences for many reasons: to expand their industry knowledge, to network with colleagues, or to make important business contacts, just to name a few. Today, there are thousands of conferences for every type of business. To make yours stand out, conference hosts must excite, offering an immersive experience along with important information. One great way to get attendees fired up for a conference is to integrate a charitable component into the program.
Here are three ways you can use philanthropy to engage your audience at your next conference while giving back to the greater good:
Introduce a Service Project
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been a mainstay of the teambuilding world for years now, and for good reason. Helping others creates strong bonds, whether participants are coworkers or, more broadly, industry colleagues. There are two primary types of service projects you can offer: an onsite activity, like writing cards for a local hospital or assembling summer kids for children in need, or an off-site, immersive activity. In the latter case, conference organizers could invite attendees to paint a school or serve at a soup kitchen the morning before the event starts. This is a great way to build cohesiveness and set the stage for what’s to come.
Host an Athletic Activity
Walks, fun runs and races have always been popular forms of charitable giving. Today, in addition to serving as stand-alone events, athletic activities are increasingly being incorporated into business conferences. Consider hosting a charitable 5K to kick off or close out a conference. Depending on the goal, the conference host can either charge a registration fee to participants or personally award a set amount to a pre-selected charity.
Offer a Grant Program
It’s always nice to have “feel good” moments at conferences. Grant programs can help you do that. Invest in Others recently partnered with Envestnet to bring our grant program to its annual conference. Prior to the event, we communicated with Envestnet Summit attendees and invited advisors who do charitable work (and planned to attend the conference) to submit a grant request directly to our organization. Three recipients were selected and then presented with big checks in front of an audience at the Summit. Not only were they thrilled that their favorite charities received financial support, but it was also a great opportunity to perpetuate the good works advisors are doing in their communities. If you’re interested in bringing the Invest in Others Grant Program to your conference, please contact us!
People inherently want to give back to their communities. When you integrate charitable activities into your event, you’ll generate excitement and bring conference goers together through the shared bond of helping others.