ConventionSouth

DEC 2014

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 4 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 13 to the local Boys & Girls Club was an excel- lent fit. It was also fun to interact with these kids, to know they will get to use the donated sports equipment and to see their faces light up when they received the backpacks." He added, "I think the most happy people were the donors. This formed a great bond amongst our group and many people are en- thusiastic about having another event of this type next year." Eric Olson, director of championships at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), said participating in the event led him to suggest that NAIA con- tribute sports equipment in a similar way at the 2015 S.P.O.R.T.S. Conference, to be held in Shreveport, La. "We see a great deal of value in helping others in this way and it ties in with NAIA's Champions of Character program, which pro- motes the core values of integrity, respect, re- sponsibility, sportsmanship and leadership," he said. Interactive charity events are also attractive to sponsors, according to Matt Hawkins, chair of Sports Illinois, which sponsored this portion of the program. "When we found the event was going to benefit BGCA it became even more enticing," he said. "It played a huge part in the deci- sion-making process because it is such a great way of giving back to the community." Culver said all types of organizations are experiencing the power of interaction at char- ity events, whether they benefit youth, veter- ans, the elderly or others. "Interacting with those you are reaching out to and giving back to the community where you meet adds a new layer of memora- bility to an event," she said. "It provides an emotional connection to the host city and the conference, and many participants will be en- couraged to engage in more activities like this." ■ 1. Connection : Seek a shared purpose between your organization and the group that will benefit. 2. Interaction: Don't just cut the check, have fun with the people you're helping. 3. Teamwork: Incorporate team building contests to get participants actively involved. 4. Sensitivity: Learn about the group you are helping and treat them with respect. 5. Efficiency: Use a third-party provider to find the right charity and handle legal issues, such as photo releases and liability. —Source: Destination Paradise (www.destination-paradise.com), a full-service event manager and meeting planner specializing in creative, customized programs. The group was moved to tears by one of the Boys & Girls Club members who who was given the microphone to offer her thanks, and said, "I'm going to give you all a big hug." For the interactive charity event supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Annapolis, Md., the kids had fun offering advice to the adults and there was a lot of good-humored banter. 5 Effective Elements To Elevate Charity Experiences INSIGHT IDEAS

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