Helping Meeting Planners Give Back

Project Finder

Organizations are increasingly focusing on adding a corporate social responsibility (CSR) component to their meetings and conventions — and a new tool from PCMA will help them do that more easily.

PCMA’s CSR Project Finder is an online tool that will assist meeting professionals in finding and vetting community-impact projects in destinations where their events are held — offering a one-stop shop for planners seeking to add a CSR element to their programs.

PCMA President and CEO Deborah Sexton saw an opportunity to provide a service to planners while at the same time helping destinations quantify the social and community impact that meetings bring. Once the CSR Project Finder gains trust and usage within the planner community, information will be collected post-event on the various projects and stored within the database to assist other planners in booking similar projects. Destinations will also be able to gather information and interest from the planner community through tracked visits and activity within the site. Robust data will be collected throughout the process that will further define the impact a meeting or convention has on a particular destination, and ultimately help advocate for the industry as a whole.

According to Stacey Shafer, the PCMA Education Foundation’s senior director of operations, the most exciting part of this new tool is the collection and quantification of data on meetings that have taken place, allowing destinations to show the impact an event has on a particular economy, ultimately helping to advocate for the industry as a whole.

“Phase two is to make the database more interactive,” Shafer said, “allowing planners to share detailed information and connect with other planners who have done similar projects.”

Founding supporting destinations of the project — on the site exclusively until the end of 2016 — include:

• Austin, Texas
• Baltimore, Maryland
• Bloomington, Minnesota
• Irving, Texas
• Jacksonville, Florida
• Louisville, Kentucky
• Miami, Florida
• Minneapolis, Minnesota
• Palm Springs, California
• Phoenix, Arizona
• San Antonio, Texas
• Sonoma, California
• St. Louis, Missouri
• Washington, D.C.