Internal stakeholders include staff, the boss, temporary crew and volunteers. They need to be inspired and engaged in the topic of sustainability and to have an understanding of performance expectations for the event and an eye on what is possible.
Contractors and at-event suppliers such as waste and cleaning services, temporary power suppliers, catering and the venue could be considered quasi-internal stakeholders, as often they are viewed as part of your event team onsite.
- Do they undertake sourcing and supply chain scrutiny or purchasing decisions?
- Do they make operational decisions that can impact sustainability performance?
- Do they interact with attendees and therefore have the potential to influence their behaviour?
- Are they required to perform certain duties to effectively participate in sustainability initiatives?
It should be noted that some stakeholders may have competing interests and may need your involvement to broker mutually agreeable strategies.
Some stakeholders may have difficulty voicing their opinions or actively engaging with you, because they lack organisation or they may be from vulnerable communities. Some groups may not even realise they are stakeholders and it’s your responsibility to reach out to them. Some stakeholders may also not yet exist! (i.e. future generations).
You will likely have many external people and organisations that can influence the sustainability success of your event.
External stakeholders with an influence on the event could include local municipal authorities and government regulators, community groups, local businesses, the general public, neighbours, NGOs, media, sponsors and funding bodies. Participants such as performers, athletes, speakers and exhibitors are also stakeholders to be engaged.
When communicating with external stakeholders, make sure the information is viewed as coming from a reliable source (don’t make sweeping and unverified statements). Importantly, ensure the way you communicate is relevant to them, accessible and that it is simple enough to be understood.
Questions to ask yourself….
- How can we identify those who could affect or be affected by decisions and actions?
- How do interested parties contribute their views, and how do they do so a continual basis?
- How to help interested parties understand the reasons for the organisation’s decisions and the implications of its actions?
- How to be sure that no groups or individuals are disadvantaged or kept uninformed or excluded?
- Are there interests beyond those of our immediate interested parties that should be considered?
- How to take into account the interested parties’ rights and interests?