What Makes a Social Impact Brand Event Different?

Social impact brands are multiplying by the minute. Businesses driven by Profit alone is increasingly faux pas. And I can’t even keep track of the number of social impact conferences, convenings and organizations between LA and NYC. This is all great news to me.

A main driver for this growth is two generations that are starting to come into their own: Millenials, who are starting to age into bigger salaries (read: more disposable income), and Gen Y, which is roaring in behind them. The wants and values of these two groups are having a big impact on the way brands are marketing themselves. They tend to value sustainability, inclusiveness, sharing versus owning, and aligning themselves with brands that are vibrant, fun and doing something good in the world.

It’s no longer enough to be the most luxurious of luxury brands or the cheapest of cheap options. There needs to be a compelling story about what the brand is doing for the greater good to convince these consumers to buy.

So what does this have to do with your event?

Everything. The big difference between your average corporate event or brand activation and that of one tied to social impact is the story you’re telling.

Audiences want to know your story. So, what story are you telling them?

It’s the compelling story told well, interwoven throughout the event, that makes a social impact event different.

To be clear: It’s not a 2-minute video about your company’s volunteer project in Uganda last year, thrown in for emotional effect, that makes an event with a well-told story. I call these Poorly Planned After Thoughts. As in, “Oh, we should tell people that we’re actually a decent company that doesn’t just drive toward profit at all costs. I know! Let’s make a video!”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this done.

Don’t do this.

You want to create an event of actual meaning and depth. You want people to connect emotionally to your brand. You want them to associate you with doing good in the world, right? The way to make that happen is to design something that appeals to their imagination and intelligence. Audiences are getting savvier by the minute and can smell impact-washing.

in sum, a social impact event:  

  • Tells the story of the impact a brand is making.

  • Creatively weaves a narrative throughout the entire Run of Show – onstage and offstage - that takes the guests on an emotional journey.

  • Guests don’t just receive content, they are led through a skillfully crafted inner journey as well as an external experience that feeds their mind and senses.


So, how do you create something compelling and authentic that meets all your goals and tells your story of social impact?

A good experience designer and producer can help you do it.

Or, if you don’t have the resources to hire an expert skilled in the art of great experience design, download Guest Experience Journey and Emotional Mapping to get ahead of the curve. These are great places to get started.

If you have any questions, or would like a complimentary 20 minute consultation, get in touch.