At a time when many
organizations are making pledges of good citizenship,
M&C asked meeting planners how their
companies/associations hold up to the scrutiny of social
responsibility. Of the 121 planners who answered an online survey
in July, 45 percent said their firms have CSR policies, while 43
percent said their organizations do not have a written policy and
12 percent don’t know if such a mandate exists.
Paid time off to volunteer on projects
such as building a Habitat for Humanity house or working in a soup
kitchen is available to 41 percent of the planners surveyed, while
47 percent would have to take personal time to volunteer, and 12
percent don’t know if they are entitled to paid time off for
Almost half of the survey respondents (49
percent) said their organizations go so far as to arrange
opportunities for employees to volunteer locally.
In terms of the meetings they arrange,
29 percent of respondents include an optional volunteer activity
during some events; 17 percent expect to add such activities to
their meetings in the future.
During the site-selection process, most
planners (84 percent) inspect the surrounding neighborhood when
they are evaluating a property. If there is evidence of
prostitution, urban decay, homelessness, a lack of business support
or the presence of low-income housing, a small percentage (3 to 5
percent) of those surveyed actually are more likely to book
properties there in order to boost the community. Overall, however,
planners said they would be less likely to book hotels or other
facilities where there is such obvious urban decline, or they would
not book there at all in order to avoid negative perceptions.
Don’t know: 8%