CHICAGO — Organizations across the trade show industry are using this day, known as Giving Tuesday—and this season—to raise awareness and funds for nonprofits of all sizes and missions.
One cause that has been front of mind for many is human trafficking, which takes places not just in motels, but in the same four- and five-star hotels where meetings and conventions are held. Hundreds of companies, including major hotel brands such as Marriott International and hotel sales organizations such as Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI); industry associations including Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA); industry events such as IMEX Group; and many more have signed “The Code,” as it’s known. The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct created by ECPAT-USA is a voluntary effort among signors to train and educate staff, customers and the entire industry to help prevent sex trafficking.
Those who choose to give to ECPAT-USA can do so not only in the form of cash donations, but also travel points and miles to assist the staff in reaching more communities across the country and traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with legislators and continue to grow awareness.
Another industry effort that’s high on peoples’ lists is the Meetings Industry Fund, which provides financial assistance to industry members who are incurring a crisis. The grants are available to those who have exhausted all their resources, and are reviewed by the Board of Directors. The Fund’s supporters include Tarsus, PCMA, the International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) and many other organizations and individuals involved in every aspect of this industry. The Meetings Industry Fund is doing a fundraiser on Facebook with the goal of raising $5,000 in honor of Giving Tuesday.
The Above and Beyond Foundation, which was created to recognize and reward hospitality workers with scholarships, was a lifeline during the pandemic. It is holding an annual travel auction where people can place and monitor bids through the auction website Bid Beacon. There are 35 trips to hotels and resorts ranging from ARIA in Las Vegas to Grand Wailea Resort in Maui to Whistler in British Columbia. Bidding ends December 14.
One strategy for deciding how to participate in Giving Tuesday is to do a search of your LinkedIn feed using the hashtag #givingtuesday to see who your favorite industry colleagues are choosing as a charity. The opportunities to give are endless, and the time is now.