Engaging with local communities: A key aspect of corporate social responsibility in events How to make a difference in your local community


Corporate social responsibility in the event industry should be taken with great seriousness. 

Event management should take corporate social responsibility into account, including the social, economic, ethical and environmental impacts of your event and how this causes your event to engage with the local community. 

This article will take you through the meaning of corporate social responsibility, the social impact of events, the environmental impact of events, the ethical impact and economic impact and how this engages with the local community.


Corporate social responsibility meaning

Corporate social responsibility is a common business model that helps a company hold itself socially accountable, as well as accountable to its stakeholders and the broader public. By enacting corporate social responsibility, companies can not only be aware of the social impact, economic impact and environmental impact they are having as a whole, but also take planned, positive steps to make a difference in their local and global environments. 

In the context of the events industry, corporate social responsibility means that the event being hosted is enhancing society and practising event sustainability instead of having a negative impact on the society in which it operates. 


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Events: Social impact

Engaging with the local community, and community involvement, is a key aspect of corporate social responsibility. This can be viewed in the events industry through the lens of philanthropic responsibility. 

Your events can be philanthropically responsible by donating to related charities or good causes, entering into transactions with suppliers that align with the event and your company’s morals, and hosting or sponsoring other fundraising events for charitable causes.


Events: Ethical responsibility 

Ethical responsibility at events can also have a considerable positive impact on the local community in which they are held. Ethical practice within the industry can look like: 

    • Equal treatment of all staff and event attendees regardless of their race, culture, sexual orientation, age, disability etc. 
    • Positive treatment towards all staff regardless of identity
    • Positive relationship with stakeholders. 


Events: Economic impact 

Engagement with the local community also comes in the form of financial responsibility and the economic impact of an event. 

Your bids to be more environmentally, ethically and socially responsible can only really mean anything if you are putting your money in the right places. You can have a positive economic impact through your events in these ways: 

    • Ensure that your recruitment across your events team is diverse and representative of our wide-ranging society
    • Research into how to make your events more sustainable 
    • Ensure speakers are trained on social awareness and environmental sustainability


corporate social responsibility


Events: Environmental impact 

The environmental impact of your event has a profound impact on the local community in which you host it. Therefore, a key component of corporate social responsibility is environmental responsibility. You can practice environmental responsibility at your events by: 

Reducing waste 

Waste can easily mount up at events, so it is important to prevent this from happening. You can minimise paper waste by opting for a paperless event, for instance by offering information handouts digitally via QR codes, and by implementing digital ticketing.

Opt for recycled materials

If you must print any materials, such as flyers or information handouts for your attendees, then make sure you choose recycled paper to protect our forests. 

Reduce energy consumption

Reducing your event’s energy consumption is also a smart way to make your event more sustainable. Developments in technology have provided us with more sustainable event options, for instance, you could opt for LED lights as a means of reducing energy.

Corporate social responsibility is the collective responsibility of event management and the events industry. As an event planner, it is your responsibility to ensure that you are practising corporate social responsibility in its varying forms in order for your event to be received positively by the local community.


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Q1: Why is engaging with local communities important for events?
Engaging with local communities helps bridge the gap between corporations and the public, fostering a sense of unity and support. It enhances the event’s impact, ensuring it benefits not just the attendees but also the local area and its residents.

Q2: How can event organizers effectively involve local communities?
Event organizers can involve local communities by partnering with local businesses, sourcing local materials, and creating platforms for local voices. Involving community leaders in planning stages and offering community-focused workshops or spaces at the event are effective strategies.

Q3: What are the benefits of community engagement for corporations?
Community engagement boosts a corporation’s image, strengthens brand loyalty, and creates meaningful connections with the audience. It also demonstrates a commitment to social responsibility, attracting customers and employees who value ethical practices.

Q4: Can small events also make a difference in local communities?
Absolutely. Small events have the power to make significant contributions by focusing on specific community needs, offering more personalized engagement, and fostering closer relationships. Every effort counts towards building a stronger, more supportive community.

Q5: How can events measure the impact of their community engagement?
Events can measure impact through surveys, feedback from community members and partners, social media engagement, and participation rates in community-focused initiatives. Setting clear goals at the outset and conducting a post-event analysis are key to understanding the engagement’s effectiveness.

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