Marketing Manager, Gallowglass Group
How Can The Events Industry Give Back to Local Communities?
Event organisers and the industry in general, are in a fortunate position where they have the opportunity to give back to the communities within which they operate. No matter where in the UK you work, or where the events are held, there are numerous opportunities to enrich the lives of the people that live and work locally. Events are a great time, where people come together to share in something that they are interested in and are passionate about. From awards ceremonies to festivals to annual business meetings, events showcase the hard work of the people.
In this article, we take a look at the various opportunities available for people that work within the industry and the choices they can make to give back to local communities.
Direct Financial Support
Perhaps the most obvious is the direct financial support that the industry can bestow upon communities. Many events, such as festivals, sporting occasions and themed galas typically raise large sums of money, both through admission costs and additional costs from attending the event.
This means that the organisers and festival owners have the opportunity to provide financial support for people, charities and businesses within their local community. A great example of this kind of work is the Glastonbury festival. Each year, the festival owners donate a sum of money to local causes and charities to enrich the lives of their community. So far, they have worked to fix their church heating system, renovate a playground, built local sports facilities along with a whole list of other activities. These generous donations both support the local community but are seen as a positive aspect of the festival, so that attendees know they are indirectly supporting worthy causes.
Indirect Financial Support
Indirect financial support can be seen when the local community is supported financially through the effects of the event, rather than the event team themselves. For example, when people attend events, they typically need accommodation, food and access to local amenities. Whether this is for a business meeting in London or a sponsored bike ride, attendees will be bringing money with them into that community.
Again, using festivals as an example, many smaller festivals offer camping or campervan options, but also work with local accommodation providers such as holiday parks, hotels and B&Bs to provide their attendees with accommodation. For many more remote venues, this can be a major source of income in the summer season.
Similarly, restaurants, street food vendors, shops and other local businesses benefit from an influx of people to their area. With multi-day events, there will likely be an opportunity or requirement for people to head into the area in search of something. This could be to get food and supplies or to have their car fixed at a garage.
Raising the Profile of a Place
Event venues in popular cities such as London, Liverpool and Bristol can be expensive, especially when organising an event on a budget. For smaller businesses or less affluent organisers, these venues can often be out of reach financially, meaning they need to search for viable alternatives. Venues in less populated and more rural areas have the advantage of being cheaper, often significantly, than inner-city locations. This is likely due to less demand and fewer public transport connections.
For organisers, choosing a venue that is less accessible can seem like a gamble, but for the surrounding community, it can raise the profile of the location. For example, when sporting competitions are held in less frequently visited cities, such as this year’s Rugby World Cup held in Japan, visitors were encouraged to attend games at various stadiums throughout the country. This can bring media and social media attention to smaller locations, making people more aware of their existence. Similar effects can be seen when events such as bike rides or marathons are held, as these sports receive a lot of coverage on social media and can inspire people to visit based on what they have seen.
Raising the Profile of Businesses, Charities and Initiatives of the Area
Events can not only raise the profile of the area but also use their platform to increase awareness of local people, businesses, charities and initiatives. Smaller events are particularly good at this, offering stage space and advertising opportunities for local companies, allowing them to be seen and heard during the event. For charities and non-profits, this can be a fantastic opportunity to get their message across and raise their profile among both locals and visitors.
Work Experience for Young People
In more rural communities, work experience for young people can be a scarce commodity; therefore, if regional or national events offer this opportunity, it can add real value back into the local community. Even in cities, less privileged students may struggle to find suitable work experience opportunities and would likely be overlooked for more desirable positions in ‘glamorous’ industries. The event industry is a hands-on and challenging sector to work in, requiring accountability and teamwork, something that many students will not have experience with. Offering work experience can not only help to enrich the lives of local areas, but also build the company’s reputation as one that supports corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities.
It’s important that the events industry continues to give back to local communities. This not only builds the industry’s reputation but helps to enrich the lives of those within the area. If you’re an event organiser, why not get in touch for more information on our event crew services? You can also find more information about our business and the industry as a whole on our blog here.