3 Charitable Celebs Show Planners How to Pull Strings

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Brad Pitt, meetings
Of all his charitable efforts, Brad Pitt is best known for his work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

There’s a lot to learn from charitable celebs about how to get things done.

In fact, they are often the most effective in times of crisis, with boots on the ground almost immediately and the ability to use their status to drum up donations and rally fans to volunteer.

Following are 3 celebs who are especially efficient, and lessons meeting planners can learn from them about how to wield influence to make positive changes to their meeting.

Brad Pitt

Among his many charitable endeavors, actor Brad Pitt created a project in New Orleans to help build environmental friendly housing in the Ninth Ward after Hurrican Katrina. He has also teamed up with Global Green USA on a competition for affordable and energy-efficient home designs. If you want to move the needle with management and make changes to your meeting, think green. Green efforts easily align with corporate strategies; chances are your company or client has some in place. They’re public relations opportunities and universally accepted and respected—so there are no political repercussions.

Christy Turlington

Former supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, founder of Every Mother Counts, a non-profit dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, teamed up with TOMS to release a limited edition collection featuring a backpack and a tote. With every bag purchase, TOMS helps provide a safe birth for a mother and a baby in need. Partnerships help move the needle, so think about how you can partner with sponsors or exhibitors to add new aspects to your meeting or create new opportunities for your attendees.

Alec Baldwin

Though actor Alec Baldwin is known for taking a strong stand politically with his antics on Saturday Night Live, he also started the Alec Baldwin Foundation to benefit the arts and culture, the environment, youth, health and human rights causes. Most of his donations are targeted at charities in New York City and Long Island, since he grew up in Massapequa, Long Island, and lives in New York. Planners also have the most influence by thinking locally. Whether that means bringing in local speakers, or amenities that are made locally, planners will find a wealth of opportunities to do something different with their meeting. The local tourist board or CVB can tap its contacts to help, and its services are free to planners.

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Barbara Scofidio is Editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In her 30 years in the industry, she has become known for her passion around greening meetings, growing awareness of human trafficking and promoting CSR activities as part of business events. She is currently a member of SITE's Women IN Leadership committee and the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee. She was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of SITE for 30 years, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. Before joining Prevue in 2014, she served as Editor of Corporate Meetings & Incentives (MeetingsNet) for more than 20 years. She has a BA in Literature/Rhetoric from Binghamton University. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.