60 seconds with... Fiona Pelham, Positive Impact

C&IT caught up with Positive Impact MD Fiona Pelham to discuss the success of the #shareapositiveimpact campaign so far and her plans for taking it forward.

Fiona Pelham, MD at Positive Impact
Fiona Pelham, MD at Positive Impact

You officially launched the #shareapositiveimpact campaign at last year’s SES in February 2014, how has the interest and engagement been so far? 

I think a theme that has come out of the SES this year is that people are still not sharing very much. When we originally launched the campaign we created a specific site for it, so you had to fill in some boxes to share. We’ve actually removed all of that now, as we didn’t want that to be a barrier to people sharing. Now it’s easier to take photos and join in on Twitter and event professionals just have to add #shareapositiveimpact to their tweets to join in.

So it hasn’t been received as well as I would want so far, but we’re trying something else. Our goal now is to get people sharing on Twitter, and then go back to the separate website. Our original goal was to be able to categorise the shares, but there just wasn’t enough sharing going on, so now we’re just trying to make it easy and get as many people sharing as possible.

Why do you think that people are not sharing?

I think it’s really the fear of what people will think that’s stopping people from sharing. It’s also the thought that people might steal ideas, which I think is really funny, because in our current world of transparency, social media and everyone knowing anything, it’s bizarre to think that someone will steal your ideas, because that’s the way life is now. You put your idea out there and someone will use it.

The bigger point to remember is that this is about creating an events industry that is good for the environment and the community and ultimately, one that works well and is a good business industry. So if we don’t share we’re really just damaging ourselves.  

What are your plans for taking the campaign forward?

We’re doing a big push on getting ambassadors; we’re aiming to have 100 new ambassadors by August. We’re going to challenge them all to do ten tweets with examples of sustainability at events they’ve seen anywhere. Within a year I’d love to see the campaign really active so we can start sharing some themes with the industry, but we need the industry to share to be able to get those. This time next year I’d like to be able to report how many tweets we’ve got and categorise them into areas like waste, community involvement and more.

More:

In The Spotlight: Fiona Pelham, MPI & Positive Impact

C&IT TV: Event planners talk sustainability at SES 2015

In Pictures: Sustainable Events Summit 2015

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