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Written by Guy Bigwood.       

Events are a powerful tool in the marketing mix alongside the traditional models of advertising, public relations and the increasingly burgeoning field of digital and social media. In the past 5 years, the industry has witnessed an explosion in the number of companies using every communication platform to proclaim their contribution to society as “friendly neighbourhood banks” right through to the greenest, leanest and most caring companies in the world.

Being green and being good for the planet is now a leading focus for companies that want to draw the eye and the dollar of an increasingly conscientious consumer. This trend is increasingly entering the world and lexicon of the event planner.

If events can move the heart, mind and soul of an audience that gathered for the same learning objectives. How can planners maximise awareness by using events as a platform to bring company brand values and commitment to sustainability to life?

Firstly, have a crystal-clear understanding on why your company believes in sustainability.  This also includes the explanation on the company’s sustainability practices and project investments.  For example, life insurance giant, AIA Singapore focuses strongly on the health component of sustainability.  In 2013, the company introduced the science-backed “AIA Vitality”.  This wellness programme provides participants the knowledge, tools and motivation to help them achieve their personal health goals.  The programme addresses the health challenge and educates its members on the impact of poor dietary behaviours on obesity.  It rewards programme participants by reducing policy premium levels as they achieve set health goals. AIA Singapore engages its members and their loved ones through events like the non-competitive 5km, The Music Run by AIA, which attracted over 9,000 participants in April 2015.  The run was powered by official digital music partner Spotify.

Secondly, partnering with like-minded people to reach a greater audience. Diverse brands are coming together at events to share their sustainability stories both subtly at forums like the now well established TEDx events worldwide or more obviously at events like the leading sustainability series – Sustainable Brands Conference, which visited Bangkok in March, Kuala Lumpur in October 2015 and debuted in Sydney, Australia in 2016.  With the viewership of some TED talks up to 22 million views, sending a speaker to a well-produced event now has a consumer reach that many never felt possible.

More and more companies are bringing together their customers, partners and stakeholders at events to activate and demonstrate their commitments through sustainability practices.

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