EXHIBITORLIVE CSR Program Helps Advance Childhood Literacy

April 4, 2017

More and more trade shows are making corporate social responsibility in their host communities an annual tradition, and EXHIBITORLIVE is no exception.

For the third year in a row, the annual trade show and conference for trade show marketers held a book drive in partnership with Spread the Word Nevada, a Henderson, Nev.-based non-profit dedicated to advancing childhood literacy within low-income communities by providing books for at-risk elementary school students.

Held March 12-16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, EXHIBITORLIVE attracted 5,000 attendees and 250 exhibitors spanning 60,000 net square feet of exhibit space, which included a book donation bin where attendees could donate gently used books ranging from Pre-K- 8th-grade reading levels. 

“Over the past three years our EXHIBITORLIVE attendees, exhibitors and staff have contributed hundreds of books and over $1,000 in cash contributions to Spread the Word Nevada,” said Randal Acker, president and COO of Exhibitor Media Group. 

He continued, “We have a number of people on our team who were K-12 educators prior to taking their curriculum development skills to trade show and event marketing professionals, and as publishers and editors we know the power the written word can have for people. This is a great match for our two companies to work together to brings books into the lives of our younger generation.”

According to STWN officials, EXHIBITORLIVE attendees donated $330 and 165 books, which will be distributed to one of the organization’s 46 adopted Southern Nevada elementary schools during a monthly book distribution.

STWN gives out more than 49,000 books each month to these schools through its four literacy-focused programs – Kids to Kids, Breakfast with Books, Books & Buddies and Books on Break.

Since its founding in 2001, the organization has received more than 3.8 million books and has served more than 456,000 students.

“When the Exhibitor contacted us three years ago and offered to create a conference-wide book drive to benefit our children, we were thrilled,” said Lisa Habighorst, STWN co-founder and executive director.

She continued, “In 2016, more than 500 books and $500 were gifted to STWN because of the generosity of the conference attendees. That means that more than 1,000 children received a book from the conference, books that raised their confidence in reading and books that they can call their own. We are so pleased to be a partner with this incredible conference and look forward to continuing to make a difference in the lives of children, one book at a time.”

For Vegas-based shows and companies interested in integrating corporate social responsibility into their programming, STWN offers “Page it Forward” team building events that involve cleaning and preparing gently-used books from book drives and donations that are then distributed to thousands of at-risk children through the organization’s literacy programs.

EXHIBITORLIVE plans to continue this win-win partnership by holding another conference-wide book drive for STWN when it returns to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Feb. 25-March 1, according to Acker.

“I am thrilled that EXHIBITORLIVE brought this important program back for a third year,” said Dee Silfies, chief learning strategist for Exhibitor Media Group.

She added, “We hope that all of us who are much more fortunate will ‘pay it forward’ and help put books in the hands of at-risk children, so they can keep, treasure and develop a life-long love of books.” 

To learn more about Spread the Word Nevada, go here.

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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: