Exhibition News September 2018 - Page 67

COLUMN: JULIAN AGOSTINI Charity begins at home The MD of Mash Media wonders how the events industry can truly make a difference for charity T here is a fun run taking place in the meetings industry in October. Whoever came up with term ‘fun run’ must be very pleased with themselves...what’s fun about running? Ah the power of PR. But, despite the rhyming name, most of us are happy to take part in or give money to a ‘fun’ run because it’s a genuine physical challenge for participants. Even for those who claim to genuinely enjoy the activity there are still weeks or months of training, and sacrifices they have made to prepare. There are some charitable activities, however, that seem suspiciously like a good time. Now that’s a controversial point, but charity is being abused and ruined by so many that are mistreating it and we need to be careful that the PR around raising money for good causes remains positive. Most people want to help; it’s in our nature and makes us feel complete, but not if giving is forced upon us. There are the charity muggers that lurk outside every shopping centre waiting to pounce on happy consumers, but worse than that is the moral blackmail that often comes with these well-intentioned challenges. How many sky dives, desert treks, swims, mountain climbs etc. have we all supported in the name of charity? I can’t even name most of the charities. It’s that bored sinking feeling when another email request turns up from a friend or colleague: ‘I’m going to do a bungee jump for charity, can you give?’ Is this a charitable act? Most of the people that take part in these adventures are doing it for exactly that...the adventure, the achievement, the self-fulfilment. It could be argued that it’s quite a selfish act. Generosity is surely a mindset; it’s not about the amount of money. If a person has £10m and gives £500,000 to charity but another has only £10 to their name in the world but donates £3, who is the more generous? If time is money and we all believe that then let’s start giving our time for other’s benefit and raise money for charity in that way, rather than doing something for “Generosity is surely a mindset; it’s not about the amount of money” ourselves and making others pay for it. Older siblings are generally past masters at getting all the credit while doing none of the work. My sister and I still laugh at our elder brother’s tactic of making a big show when mum came in from work, saying something like ‘mum, how was your day? Jules/Mel, for goodness sake, tidy the kitchen for mum’. Genius...mum played along but saw through it of course, so is it time for us to see through these charity achievements? Cook dinner and clear up afterwards, cut the grass or jet wash a drive. There are hundreds of chores that we would all gladly pay over the odds for if someone was doing them for us and for charity. That’s something surely everyone would support, and it is the gift of time and effort from the fundraiser that is most precious and therefore genuinely generous. Exhibition organisers are constantly faced with the challenge of persuading potential visitors to give up their time and the attrition rate for those who want to come to our events but then somehow don’t still remains absurdly high. Could charity have a part to play here? Making a contribution to charity for each visitor that comes to an event isn’t a new concept, but this has never quit Pv&VBFRf6F"FW6( BfR6V7FV6W76&ǒvFFP6&G"FFW7GVǒ6VP6G&'WF&VrFR6W&2FW&R&R&WGFW v2brBF3FR&wVVBf"&Vv7FW&VBf6F"F&V6P6r2FBFWFF( @fRVVvFR'WBvB`vRFV&VBFRfVRbFBFSf'7FǒFW6RFFRW&Fv6v2FV"&vFVF'W@'6֖rFW6G&vvW"VBF6&GbFV"66R7'V6ǒFV 66R'FRv2FW6FV6VPFR&VVfBbFV"7F2BFWvW@FRv&fVVƖrFBFWfRvVVVǐVVBFW"6W6R'vfrWFV FRFW&FfVǒFW&R&RfF06֖rFFR&WBFB66V7@f6F'2vF6&GFRvƷvF@vVW&FW2VW&w27W&VǒW7Bf W&F2FRw&VFW"FRfFfFRw&VFW"FRVW&w7&VFVBF20&VG&VVW6VBFVvW"fvW2g&6FR֖FFRV7B"FW"G&V&V@&V2bFRv&Bb^( fRB6VVF0WBR6VB6V6BWBƖRv^( 6W'FǒF6WFrƖPF2B6fWbR6vBFFV'WBvVF( BF2&Rw&VBFFF"FFfRg&W"fVVW3&V6V@6V2fRf&VBR"Gv6G0BFR&vvW"W&F6VG&W2FBfF7W'BW"GW7G''WBF22vFW&gV'GVGf"&VFVF6W&^( 2ג6VvSvF( @FR&vRfVVW27FvƷvF@vVW&FW2VW&w'fFfVRGW&ǒvBFVFW'2BF2vWfW'f6F"FWfW'W&FvVB&PVrF&Bv&B6VG'rg&FR&v6W'>( BbfWr@vVBVf6F"&FBg&FPfVV^( 2BbfWrBvVB6rF@FW6&RBǒ&WBFR&v6W"'W@&WBFRv&BB&v^( fgW'FW&&R@vVB6WBRWf"vRv607W&Vǒv'Frf"W&FWw26V6WFV&W"#c