10 Aug 2023

ChristchurchNZ launches BE Purposeful

by Jenny Barrett

Opportunities for the sustainability-aware business

ChristchurchNZ is on a mission to help event organisers create purposeful events with sustainability at their core. Launched in June at MEETINGS 2023, New Zealand’s conference, meetings, events, and exhibition trade show, ChristchurchNZ’s BE Purposeful awareness campaign and website have been designed to provide ongoing resources and practical tools to support the industry when planning events. The campaign also clearly highlights opportunities for sustainability-aware venues and event service suppliers such as audio-visual and lighting hire and production companies.

The role of events in driving change

ChristchurchNZ Head of Business Events, Megan Crum says events have the ability to play a huge role in transformative change and to leave lasting legacies when they are planned with intention. “Christchurch city is making moves to become the most sustainable place possible – especially in its events and conferencing sector. As a new city we are innovative, and the city has been redesigned to embrace purposeful events, through manaakitanga (kindness and well-being) and kaitiakitanga (our commitment to protecting our natural environment).”

Megan Crum, Head of Business Events, ChristchurchNZ

Support for the events industry

ChristchurchNZ has initiated a campaign and established a website to support the events industry become more sustainable and purposeful. Megan Crum says ChristchurchNZ wanted to take a leadership role and become the champion for purposeful business events across the city and across the sector, “ChristchurchNZ Business Events took this on as a response to client feedback. We see our role as the connector, and we’re here to help, and highlight the breadth of support on offer.”

“We had heard from business event organisers that they were looking for practical solutions. There was a lot of information-heavy content out there, but they were looking for assistance on a very practical level. These clients are time poor and initiatives like sustainability can get missed. They want to be able to understand what’s available to support them and find the right suppliers.”

“Our research showed Australian organisers have budgets but don’t know how to spend them outside of their region or country. They don’t know what opportunities there could be for corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, for instance. We wanted to give them practical tools and tricks to make life easier.”

“It’s important we take a holistic approach to being purposeful — to highlight the accessibility, and inclusivity of our destination, showcasing innovative and smart initiatives across the sector. This is a chance to share what the cool people are doing here – the innovators in the city – to expand the opportunities for everyone.”

Opportunities for venues and suppliers

The website connects event organisers to a wide range of suppliers to help them source locally, lower waste, measure impact, and create socially inclusive and culturally diverse gatherings. It lists recommendations that can potentially open up significant opportunities to the sustainably focused in the entertainment technology sector.

Suggestions include choosing venues with an environmental policy or certification; selecting socially responsible organisations for partnership or as suppliers; hiring energy efficient lighting, sound and audio-visual equipment; offering virtual participation options; hiring event technology from the venue or locally; and investigating the carbon footprint of specific activities such as live performances or fireworks displays.

“We are encouraging planners to follow our lead and check the website for inspiration and practical advice on how to make their next events as purposeful, meaningful and sustainable as possible.”

The campaign to date

Only launched in June, professional conference organisers are already tapping into the knowledge ChristchurchNZ is providing and connecting with suppliers who can help them, “It’s win-win for everyone and a much-valued resource for organisers. The next step is to develop a toolkit for delegates who come into the city, so they know how to support local. We will give them tips and tricks for getting around sustainably, and simple ways they can make a difference while they are here. We will be adding further case studies to the website as our purposeful event stories grow.”

Act now – BE Purposeful

Increasing numbers of public bodies and corporates are strategising how to achieve their commitment to waste minimisation and NetZero carbon emissions. The positive and proactive response to  ChristchurchNZ’s forward-thinking BE Purposeful campaign demonstrates that it is time for the events and live performance industry, and all the businesses involved, to loudly and proudly promote how they are playing their part in protecting our natural environment.

Learn more on the BE Purposeful ChristchurchNZ website


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