Five ways event agencies can prioritise people and planet over profit

Sledge’s Managing Director, Sarah Yeats delivered a session at the C&IT Agency Forum 2022, which was designed to equip event professionals with some of the tools to succeed in the new year and beyond.

Given our work on CSR related projects, Sarah discussed why and how agencies must choose people and planet over profit.

Below are five key takeaways from the session, which you might like to consider weaving into your future strategy, today.

Recognising we all have a role to play

While one person changing their actions can’t change the world completely (or overnight), small changes on the micro level can have a big impact on the macro level. This means striving to work with clients who want to do more and give back, aligning with charitable organisations, and encouraging others to do everything they possibly can. It’s a journey, but one we should all aim to embark on.

Long-term sustainability strategies are key

Sustainability has become a top priority for clients. Instead of it being a 'tick box,' many are now looking to formalise their sustainability protocols around events, which form part of their wider policies. Importantly, in many briefs Sledge receives they are looking to their agencies as strategic consultants to help them develop such processes. This means more than ever, it’s important agencies are well versed when it comes to event sustainability.

Solidifying the company vision and roadmap

Responding to sustainability related requests begins with the agency. We need to walk the talk, and this means developing not only a sustainability vision or commitment, but creating a clear roadmap which outlines the 'how' and individual steps that are required to achieve it. Including this in all proposals as standard, as well as personalising the approach to reflect the project/s outlined in the brief are important steps to take too.

Attracting sustainability and CSR-focused clients

First and foremost, a genuine passion for this goes a long way. Not only does this mean these topics naturally emerge in conversations with clients and others in the industry, agencies will develop a reputation for delivering this type of work. There’s immense power in word of mouth, as well as sharing an agency’s views on, and approach to, these matters externally, whether that’s via the company website, social, or thought leadership pieces in the media.

When it comes to existing clients, it’s our role as the experts to have these conversations with them, and provide strategic counsel around ways they can deliver more conscious events.

Appealing to and retaining like-minded talent

Employees that have a passion for sustainability and CSR are not only integral to client projects, they thrive in environments where they are able to do work that gives back – something that is especially important to young people. The projects Sledge works on with organisations such as the We Are Family Foundation, TEDxTeen and FACT Dialogue inspires the team to not only continue to pursue this type of work, it compels them to play their part and make a difference in the world, both personally and professionally.

Interested in learning more about how Sledge weaves sustainability and CSR into projects? We'd love to hear from you. Get in touch today.


Sign up to Sledge Seasonals to receive the latest event, content and creative news, insights and inspiration, directly to your inbox.