and hand-deliver the boxes to the kids
room to room at the two hospitals.
The experience was captured on video
and shared with WEC 2018 attendees after
“We were excited to work with MPI to
deliver cheer to hospitalized children in
two different hospitals in Indianapolis,”
said Gary Parisher, president of Cheeri-
odicals. “It was an honor to be selected
by MPI to deliver an experiential CSR
program like never before and share with
attendees the magic of a Cheeriodicals
event and delivery.”
Parisher, who has worked in marketing
and creative positions during his career
and is a military veteran, was inspired
to start Cheeriodicals after attending a
teambuilding event with one of his former
“It was an outdoor adventure outing,
and I thought, ‘There must be something
more meaningful than that, a way to really
contribute to a local community and help
those in need,” he said.
He started Cheeriodicals, hired a high-end branding company to design the
packaging of the boxes, and the concept
“We work with hundreds of companies
and events now, assembling thousands
of Cheeriodicals boxes annually,” he said,
citing entities such as Dell, Mastercard
and Google. “It was wonderful for MPI
attendees to experience firsthand how im-
pactful the program can be and how much
of a difference planners can make during
their own events.”
In another initiative aimed at helping
kids in Indianapolis, WEC 2018 attendees
were invited to bring children’s books,
which were donated to the Julian Center.
Located in downtown Indianapolis, the
shelter, founded in 1975, helps thousands
of families affected by domestic abuse and
other life crises.
Five other programs at WEC 2018 also
enabled MPI and attendees to give back to
the local community through everything
from unique donations to participatory
WEC 2018 attendees supported
the Foundation for Hospital Art by painting panels of murals that will be displayed
at local Indianapolis hospitals. Since 1984,
the organization has been committed to
brightening the walls of healthcare facilities around the world.
A food drive for Second Helpings was
another initiative. Second Helpings takes
unserved food from hotels and other
entities and distributes it through 85 organizations in the local community, serving
some 4,000 meals per day. The unserved
food from WEC 2018 went directly from
the convention center caterer to Second
Helpings, so it was one food drive in
which there was no need for attendees to
bring canned goods or other food items.
Helping teachers was the focus of
another CSR program at WEC 2018.
Attendees were able to donate supplies
from previous conferences and events to
help local students and teachers in Indianapolis through Teachers’ Treasures.
The organization assists more than 2,400
teachers from 250 schools each year with
getting the school supplies they need for
Even the flowers used at off-site events
and throughout the convention were part
of the CSR efforts at WEC 2018. Whether it
was a flower arrangement on tables at meal
functions or floral decor used on tables
throughout the WEC Villages, all floral
was transported to local nursing homes to
brighten the environment for its residents.
Meanwhile, helping women was
another popular CSR program this year,
facilitated through Dress for Success
Indianapolis. The organization works
with women seeking to get back on their
feet and rejoin the workforce by putting
together professional-looking wardrobes
that will help them gain employment.
WEC 2018 attendees were encouraged to
bring accessories such as mascara, knee-
high hosiery, inexpensive jewelry, small
purses and cell phone cases that were new
or gently used.
WEC 2018’s CSR aspect was designed
using the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO) 20121 Event Sustainability Management System as a guide
and framework. MPI firmly committed to
following ISO sustainable event standards.
The adherence to ISO sustainable
events standards is a hallmark of a program that seeks to be in the top echelon of
green events, according to Julia Spangler,
MPI Indiana Chapter, an independent
sustainability consultant who is a member
of the WEC 2018 host committee’s CSR
“I have never worked with an event
before that was committed to meeting the
ISO standards, and working with MPI has
been inspiring,” she said.
The key to WEC 2018 being a model
for sustainability is that in addition to a
massive and thorough effort that went into
the planning of WEC and will continue
through the execution, there will also be
an equally massive and extremely detailed
documentation effort that will produce
quantitative numbers on just how sustainable the Indianapolis conference turned
out to be.
“We are going to have about 40 different
standards of measurement in addition to
how much waste we kept from going to
landfill,” Spangler said.
PAINTING MURALS FOR THE FOUNDATION FOR HOSPITAL ART
DRESS FOR SUCCESS