Charity and Corporate Eventprofs' Networking Event

Twelve BNC members gave up their time to team-up and work with six leading UK charities on their event proposals for 2019 at the second of our BNC Gives Back Charity Networking Events.

Topics such as ticket sales, auction prizes, audience engagement, awards dinners, speaker breakfasts, social media advertising, bespoke events and more were discussed at length on Friday 2nd November in the atmospheric Wolfson Suite of London’s beautiful events venue – The Royal Society.

Armed with outlines of events that required some new perspective, creative input and practical advice, the charities – British Heart Foundation, London’s Air Ambulance, NSPCC, The Big Issue, Variety and Walkabout Foundation – sat at presentation tables and the corporates visited each one in a speed-networking fashion. Each had specific events in mind that they needed guidance on and they also had burning questions to ask about how the corporate world works when it comes to selecting charity events to attend and partnerships to embark upon.

Thanks to Sales Manager Nathalie Follen-Noto the venue (a charitable organisation itself*) donated the use of the suite for the morning. Its ornate ceilings and views of the Mall and St James’s Park certainly gave our event the wow-factor plus, with its thousands of historical volumes housed in huge bookcases, the Wolfson (just one out of The Royal Society’s 12 diverse event spaces) provided THE most perfect and symbolic set-up for our knowledge-sharing event.

Next door, in Wolfson 2, the smiley and effervescent Mariana ensured that we got a healthy start to the morning with kale juice, muesli bars, yogurt pots and tiny pastries, plus she made certain that the coffee and tea flowed all morning meaning our eventprofs could relax and help themselves to top-ups. After several hours of networking the group came together to go through lessons learned.

One participant, a marketing events principal from an information group, attended the day as part of her company’s CSR programme. However, it exceeded her expectations of a typical CSR activity, saying it was “Really fantastic, actually. I really enjoyed it and would definitely take part again.”

The charities all agreed, saying how many great tips they’d been given that they can't wait to turn into reality. Lucy Thorpe, Partnership Manager from the British Heart Foundation, demonstrated by thumbing-through an almost full book of notes and several others commented on how much they had learnt in such a short space of time.

This sentiment was echoed by our eventprof members who commented: “I came here expecting to be advising the charities all morning but actually I got a lot out of it as well. This event is good for both types of event managers as we can all pick up tips from each other.”

Another observed:

“Corporate event managers and charity event managers may have differing objectives but their roles are the same and the issues they face are similar. We have a lot in common.”

Let’s hope this common ground continues to grow and that the charities - and our eventprofs – continue to gain. Interest has now been raised in the six different good causes and if the charities are smart, the day will lead to many great things such as corporate partnerships, donations, volunteer days and more.

The team at The Royal Society also learnt a lot on the day. Summing-up the event perfectly, Nathalie Follen-Noto says:

“We were delighted to be hosting this BNC Gives Back event. It was wonderful to see so many experienced event professionals giving their time to help others and the atmosphere was really fantastic. It was also extremely interesting to realise some of the very difficult challenges faced by some of the charities and to learn about the great work they do.”


*Events booked at The Royal Society, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG, play an important part in supporting The Royal Society, a registered charity and the UK’s National Academy of Science