Many of the world’s most respected brands are becoming very active at promoting how they are helping to make the world a better place. The trend is also influencing how brands are incorporating these values into the design of their event experiences.

Increasingly, our industry is looking at the ways it can bring corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to the forefront, making them an integral component of the overall experience. Salesforce, for example, has continued to foster CSR through its 1% Programme, and it presents an annual concert for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco, where millions of dollars have been raised for Children in Need. Back in Europe, Mobile World Congress has created a Mobile Explorers Programme for 8 to 15 year-olds, allowing them to experience the technology of the event first-hand, plus the organisers are applying for sustainable event certification, and they have launched a number of programmes to support schools and charities in Barcelona.

It’s clear that brands now want their event experiences, in addition to serving their commercial interests, to also do good. Even today’s event content is beginning to focus on attendee wellbeing and how the experience can help to make a difference in the world. There is also a growing number of highly influential, social good agenda-setting conferences and events like The World Economic Forum, Wired and even TED Talks. These sessions work so well because they also serve a purpose to inspire audiences to make a positive impact on their own lives as well as the world around them.

The trend for events to become more purposeful is going mainstream. That can’t be a bad thing. Making events more purposeful, meaningful and impactful is positive progress. There is still some heavy lifting to be done to deliver on the promise of purposeful experiences. We often use words such as insightful, innovative and purposeful to describe the brand experiences we create, without seriously moving the needle on social, environmental or wellbeing initiatives. Making meetings purposeful sees us embark on a journey of the reinvention of our traditional approaches to event planning. This too is a good thing.

About MCI Experience

At MCI Experience, we aspire to help brands realise their marketing objectives and ambitions through innovative, meaningful, memorable live, digital and virtual experiences. Our interdisciplinary design thinking strategic approach to brand innovation is imaginative, immersive and emotive. We partner with our clients to create breakthrough marketing experiences that achieve measurable business results.