Industry Innovator: Building a Better Show
How do you get employees and partners to build an entirely new series of conferences and expos, all by volunteering their skills and services in their spare time? Business-to-business media company UBM managed to do just that with its Business4Better (B4B) global initiative, first launched in 2009 and expanded into the U.S. for the first time in May.
B4B is a non-commercial, non-revenue undertaking involving UBM employees contributing their time, resources and expertise to help bring non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private companies together to launch on-the-ground charitable initiatives. The events involve speakers, educational sessions, networking and an expo where qualifying nonprofits can exhibit at no cost.
As part of UBM's larger Responsible Business initiative, B4B has produced events in Brazil, India and the United Kingdom. With producing partner Freeman, UBM's inaugural U.S. event brought nearly 1500 attendees and over 120 NGOs and non-profits to the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Publishing Executive talked to Scott Vaughn, chief marketing officer at UBM Tech, about B4B's goals, methods and how it helps UBM (and event partners) "practice what they preach."
Publishing Executive: How did the B4B initiative get started?
Scott Vaughn: This concept of Business4Better started in Brazil in 2009. A group of employees saw a need to bring NGO's and businesses together because government was not able to fulfill key roles. It started from a group of UBM employees and media executives saying, 'I think there's opportunity here around our larger goal of global corporate responsibility.'
The core idea is to use your resources and skills to do better for social innovation, to impact the community and really make a difference—that's where the kernel came from. [Executives in Brazil] went to David Levin, CEO of UBM, and the Board, and … the idea was fleshed out. It started fairly small in Brazil, was successful and then started rolling through UBM.