And Now, for Some Good News! 5 Event Companies Giving Back Right Now

April 3, 2020

While it’s important for all of us to stay informed about the current health crisis and its impact on our industry, TSNN believes it’s important to balance out the negative with positive and inspiring news. That’s why we’ve launched this weekly Good News column to shine a well-deserved spotlight on all the amazing events and event-related companies making a positive difference during this challenging time. Here, five reasons to smile today:

Good360 Helps Canceled Events Donate Unused Items

Good360 is helping show organizers and vendors of cancelled trade shows, conferences and festivals donate unused event materials and product samples, and then distributing these items to people facing challenging life circumstances. 

Based in Alexandria, Virginia, Good360 has been helping companies donate excess goods and merchandise through its global network of 90,000 vetted nonprofits since 1983, but this is the first time the organization has set up a program specifically for the events industry, according to charity officials. 

We are currently working with the organizers of several cancelled national conferences to donate highly needed goods to members of our nonprofit network, who then get the items to people in need,” explained Matt Connelly, CEO of Good360. “At the same time, we help sustainability efforts by keeping these unneeded items out of landfills and giving them a longer life.”

After having to cancel its annual meeting and exhibition in March, the International Association for Dental Research turned to Good360 for help finding a home for its more than 5,000 welcome bags containing toothpaste and other dental care items, explained Christopher H. Fox, CEO of IADR. 

To learn how to donate to Good360, go here. 

Los Angeles Convention Center Feeds At-Risk Students and Families

Levy donation

The convention center and its food and beverage provider, Levy Restaurants, teamed up with Musically Fed to donate and distribute 4,000 pounds of unused conference food to the Alliance College-Ready Public Schools. The donation benefitted hundreds of students grades 6-12 – many of whom depend on school meals for daily sustenance – and their families.

According to Maria Brunner, CEO of Musically Fed, a nonprofit that works to mobilize the music industry to combat hunger, charitable actions such as these are essentially life-saving for schools in low-income areas and at-risk populations.

“Our amazing partnership with Levy Restaurants and the Los Angeles Convention Center provides a beacon of light from civic-minded organizations, leveraging their resources and compassion to positively impact so many families during this otherwise dark time,” Brunner said. 

To learn more about Musically Fed, go here.

Diversified Communications Donates Hand Sanitizer to Local Hospital

Before coronavirus became a nationwide concern, Diversified Communications was gearing up to hold its annual North American Seafood Expo, March 15-17 in Boston. But when the event was cancelled, the Portland, Maine-based event producer found itself with an overstock of unused bottles of hand sanitizer. 

Diversified decided to donate the eight cases of sanitizer to medical professionals at Maine Medical Center who were working to save lives.

“We feel great that we have some way of giving back to our community here,” said Janice Rogers, corporate vice president of human resources for Diversified Communications, in a local news story. “We didn’t feel right not using it, and we wanted to make sure that people who are on the front line fighting this virus have the supplies they need.” 

Pennsylvania Convention Center and Aramark Donate 900 Pounds of Food 

Faced with a surplus of perishable food following event cancellations, the Pennsylvania Convention Center worked with Aramark to ensure that 900 pounds of unused food was donated to individuals and families in need. 

A total of 501 pounds of dairy and produce items were provided to Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, the largest emergency homeless shelter in Philadelphia; while 297 pounds of dairy and produce were provided to Valley Youth House’s Achieving Independence Center, which supports youth preparing to leave the foster/dependent care system.

“With so many individuals and families struggling during this difficult time, we wanted to make sure that this food was put to good use,” said Gregory J. Fox, Esq., board of directors chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission and the Valley Youth House do great work in the local community and we know they will make sure this food gets to those who need it.” 

MGM Resorts International Pledges $1 Million for Employee Emergency Fund

MGM Resorts International has launched an array of initiatives to support those economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a $1 million crisis and disaster relief pledge into an employee emergency grant fund and donating the equivalent of 400,000 meals through local food banks across the U.S.

“We know that this is an extremely challenging and uncertain time for many of our employees, their families, friends and neighbors, and we are committed to help those in need,” said Bill Hornbuckle, acting CEO and president of MGM Resorts International. 

The MGM Resorts Emergency Relief Fund provides short-term relief for employees and their immediate families in making payments or meeting financial obligations during unexpected hardships. The company’s $1 million pledge will provide expanded coverage to help full-time employees, on-call employees and those facing layoff, separation or furlough.

Since the temporary closure of its 21 resort properties across the country, MGM has also worked with local food banks in the communities in which it operates to donate 480,000 pounds of food to charitable organizations.


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Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: