A panel of personalities and industry bosses gave advice on how to work with charities to grow their events during a session at International Confex.
Matthew Patten, chief executive of The Lord’s Taverners, who hosted the talk, explained how his charity - a youth cricket and disability sports charity – partners with different organisations in different ways.
“We have beneficiary events. For example, The Lord’s Taverners works with KPMG – we organised a raffle at their annual event and, in return, KPMG relies on the charity to get hold of speakers,” said Patten.
Richard Stilgoe OBE, broadcaster and trustee of The Lord’s Taverners, highlighted the best ways to get a celebrity or personality to your event. He said: “Why should they go to your event? Where is it? Lord’s? The Tower of London? Use places you can’t get to on a normal basis.
“You have to have an absolutely rigid budget - never fail to make that amount of money and if you manage to get a celebrity, look after them.”
England and Middlesex cricketer Steve Finn agreed and said he likes to work with charities that are close to his heart.
Speaking on behalf of BT Group - which has partnered with The Lord’s Taverners on a number of commercial events including a charity dinner at the BT Tower – was Helen Simpson, director of volunteering.
“We live in difficult times economically – charities are not able to grow as fast. You need to have the ability to be clear with the charity, say what you want from them – I encourage you to have honest partnerships,” she said.
Event organisers should also look to emerging markets to differentiate from others, according to Simon Parker, group portfolio director for Confex organiser, UBM Live.
He said: “China and India are emerging markets and I encourage delegates to become involved with charities in those countries.”