Strategic Foundations

We love a theme, we’re party organisers after all. And you will be very happy to know that you get to apply some themes to your strategic approach.

Let’w now look at how to set the thematic foundations of your sustainability strategy.

All of us in events like to have things in their place and setting a themed structure to your strategy gives you a satisfying foundation from which you can stage your sustainability programme. 

Find your own way

Your strategic approach should be crafted in a way that makes sense for your organisation.

Reflect on the questions to below, to help to crystallise your strategic structure. 

When you get this right it will give you an excellent basis to communicate with your stakeholders and to place your various programmes within.

Questions to consider

  • Is there already a way that the operations or management vision is categorised?
  • What resonates with your own organisation’s values, the location of the event, the event programme, the stakeholder’s interests or a topic that is trending?
  • What are the main operational impacts of your event? Could you create your strategy that way?
  • Do the SDGs offer you a framework to follow?
  • Are there any industry sector approaches that seem logical?

Example approaches

Thematic Approach

This approach considers three lenses: the control of operational impacts; using the event to amplify positive messages and encouraging behaviour change; and the lasting good the event can do.

Operational Issues Approach

This approach focuses on the operational impacts and elements of the event’s production, and within each frame would sit the cross cutting themes such as social impact, aligned messaging and campaigns, and lasting legacy.

Principles Approach

In this approach, foundation principles which already exist for the organisation or destination are embraced.

Organisational Capacity Approach

This approach is an enabling strategy, which sets the organisation up for success. Here the strategic intent is to establish the organisational architecture that will allow the sustainability function to be embedded across the organisation. This could actually also be an accompanying strategy or a strategy in the early  phases of a multi-year project such as a mega-event.

Your Tasks

PILLARS: Review the various approaches to setting a thematic approach to a sustainability strategy.

☑️   Does your organisation or event already have a framework or themes you could follow?

☑️   Review the SDGs, any government frameworks or other guiding approaches to sustainability such as your industry association, sporting guild or other entity.

☑️   Develop some various approaches which may work for your sustainability themes based on your discoveries and discussions so far. (don’t worry, you can change it later on as more ideas are revealed.)