Corporate Social Responsibility is extremely important in the modern world, and in order to make progress in a steady and efficient way, it is of paramount importance for all the involved parties to interact and take action on the biggest challenges to sustainability. That’s why initiatives like #CSRshareday are very powerful!
CSRshareday is an online 24-hour Twitter campaign during which sustainability supporters across the globe host an hour of conversation discussing CSR-related topics. Italian Special Occasions DMC was one of the hosts for the second year in a row. In 2019, we hosted a session dedicated to the topic of “Quality Education” and our founder Laura also became a Positive Impact Ambassador.
Speaking to the organizers (Positive Impact Events), Laura said: “I am proud to participate in this initiative. For us it is paramount to make a change, and as part of the Tourism and Event industry we feel we have a great responsibility towards the environment and local communities. To be able to share our ideas and our way to #maketourismright is a great opportunity towards our goals. Sharing knowledge and awareness in the correct way is VERY important nowadays, and it is where social media technology is useful. This is what I call: the true influencer”.
During the hour hosted by Italian Special Occasions DMC, we shared examples of how we try to educate our clients to promote quality tourism, whether for corporate or leisure events, and asked participants to share their ideas and experiences. One of the suggested ways to educate travellers and event planners is to “embrace local traditions”. For example, if you organize a teambuilding in Piedmont, you should have delegates engage with the region’s century-old activities such as wine making & truffle hunting, by meeting and joining local experts in the action.
Another way to promote quality education is to endorse destinations off the beaten path, either by choosing little-known regions or hidden gems within famous cities. For example, at ISO DMC we could suggest a potential client to choose the unknown region of Molise or the secret Botanical Garden in Rome, not only as WOW-factor venues that surprise the attendees, but also because of the positive impact on the local community or against mass tourism.
A third way to support quality education in the Events’ Travel industry is to sponsor Seasonality, i.e. to promote regions in their ideal season and not according to mass tourism in peak seasons. This is great for the environment, for the sustainable income of local communities and also for a company’s CSR. One example of how we promote this aspect at Italian Special Occasions DMC is the filming of a documentary in Sicily to showcase hidden gems, local stories & activities.
During the 24-hour #CSRshareDay event, we interacted with a number of hosts who had interesting questions or remarks. For example, Gareth Kane (consultant in sustainability strategy & employee engagement) asked the online community about their biggest Sustainability challenge. We shared the fact that one big task is convincing Clients/Companies to choose destinations in their off-peak season, in order to enjoy Slow Travel and guarantee local communities a sustainable flow of visitors and business throughout the year. To which Gareth replied: “True! How much does pricing influence that?” Organising events and travels in the off-peak season is cheaper, not only in terms of money but also of time, as you spend less time in traffic and queues and have more quality time for business/leisure activities.
On a different CSR topic that is, sadly, very overwhelming today, Event Greening Forum said: “Approximately half the plastic produced in the world is single use. As much as 32% of plastic waste ends up in the sea. Plastic can only be recycled once or twice… This isn’t sustainable! How do you avoid plastic in an industry of temporary set ups & little time?” We shared one of the new ways that we are adopting at ISO DMC to prevent the use of plastic: we give our clients/delegates a personalized bottle that they can fill up with water around Italy’s many drinkable fountains. There is no need to buy plastic bottles over and over!
We are happy to participate in events like #CSRshareDay, which are essential in the digital age. It is crucial to promote proper interactions that allow people to share ideas and improve their ventures, and we all know the value and the power that comes from being able to engage large audiences and obtain feedback. We are looking forward to the next event!