Last month the exhibitors at IBC were given the opportunity at the end of the event to donate specific items for social initiatives from the neighbourhood… And they responded with considerable enthusiasm. From beverages, coffee makers, vases, plants, IKEA cupboards and tables to countless chairs from a single exhibitor, and much more besides. We made an inventory of all donated items before assigning them to the local charities who welcomed the various useful donations with open arms.
Why this experiment?
Who benefits from our business? Can we at the RAI perhaps enhance our social added value by making different choices? This year, we are starting various initiatives to discover how we can add social value via our business and further shape how we realise corporate social responsibility within the RAI.
In consultation with various local community initiatives, we learned that there was a clear need for specific items to support their clients (vulnerable groups) and activities. Many of these items are often used on our exhibition floor so we discussed with IBC whether we might set up a Donation Room to collect the wanted items at the end of the event. And it was a great success! As well as allowing the RAI to meet some of the needs of our neighbourhood, it also gives a second life to items that would otherwise be thrown out or transported over long distances. The initiative was also greatly appreciated by the IBC exhibitors.
Depending on the requirements and requests from outside the RAI, we will explore whether a similar donation programme can be implemented at other events. It all starts with finding out what is needed, and only then do we give exhibitors/organisers the opportunity to fulfil these needs. This means that we only collect items as requested by the social organisations, matching demand to the supply of what we can provide via donations at the RAI.