Image of the Week: Making an Inclusive Tomorrow – World Down Syndrome Congress 2015

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Earlier this year, we were proud to work with Down Syndrome International (DSi) on the management and marketing of the 12th World Down Syndrome Congress, held in Chennai, India.

The event’s objective was to create a knowledge and experience sharing platform to benefit individuals with Down Syndrome and their extended support system.

Making noise on social media 

MCI also worked with organisers on a digital strategy to excite attendees and create a buzz around the event and its key messages. This included a ‘Different but Same – Odd Socks Day’ campaign to celebrate the extraordinary lives of people with Down Syndrome and the challenges they face in acceptance of their differences.

Over the course of the congress, the event’s official hashtag #WDSC2015 reached over 1.5 million people, with over 3,000  engagements and almost 2,000 posts.

Bollywood dancing & inspiring activities

Fun activities were planned for both adults and children with Down Syndrome, including a Bollywood dance along (main picture) and a concert from ‘Emotions 21’ – an inspiring band whose members all have Down Syndrome.

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WDS_blogOver 500 delegates from 37 countries

With over 500 national and international delegates representing 37 countries, the congress saw interactive scientific and social programmes consisting of keynote addresses, panel discussions and workshops catering to the needs of all delegates – including health, educational, and research practitioners, policy makers, families and most importantly, individuals with Down Syndrome.

Delegates praised the conference, noting it was significant and enriching in the manner in which awareness was created.

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Find out more

To learn more about this event, or to discuss how we can build awareness for your health association and its mission, contact us on mci-group-communication@mci-group.com.

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Customer churn a big challenge for brands

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Keeping customers is a big challenge for many businesses, whether they deal directly with the public or a range of channel partners. Often, firms will invest in processes to try and rescue unhappy customers, but these have very little impact on the business overall.

In fact, a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that these methods only work between 30 and 40 per cent of the time, making them quite ineffective at managing customer churn. So, if efforts to recapture customers’ attention before they leave is proving costly, how can your company address customer churn?

Many businesses are now trying to predict these events before they happen and take proactive steps to ensure that customers do not have a reason to leave. PwC suggest investing in the processes that go into understanding how your customers behave. Customer tracking software and similar technologies can help you make sure that you comprehend the trends affecting your customers, including factors like when and how much they spend with you.

Once you have this information, you will need to understand how you can address high levels of customer turnover. For example, investing in an incentives program can be essential for making sure that your most valuable customers are staying with your brand and have good reasons to remain loyal to your products and services.

At the same time, you will need to acknowledge that some customer churn is inevitable. No matter how tirelessly your company works to keep customers, there will always be some who have no intention of staying with your business. That being said, taking proactive steps to address issues of customer churn before they develop can be an easy way to ensure that clients have no reason to stop purchasing from your company.

How to (Effectively) Implement Employee-Driven Sustainability Programmes

Successfully implementing employee-driven sustainability programmes is a challenging endeavour, especially for a global organisation with a geographically dispersed talent pool.  However, it is also one of the most effective means of inciting behavioural change and increasing productivity within an organisation and its operating communities.

After all, according to the Society for Human Resource Management, employee morale is 55% higher in companies that have strong Sustainability Programmes than those with poor ones!

It’s for this reason that MCI – the world’s leading events management and association consultancy firm – launched the MCI Sustainability Awards in 2008.

Galvanizing our talents’ passion and competitive spirits, the awards – seized this year by MCI India and MCI China – recognize employee-driven initiatives that effectively raise awareness and implement sustainability into MCI’s operations as well as that of their clients and stakeholders.

This year alone the initiatives driven by the global MCI family raised almost €1.5 million directly and indirectly, with MCI staff donating an estimated 4,500 hours to community service projects worldwide. Additionally, our “sustainability champions” have worked with our clients and suppliers to deliver top-tier sustainable events, including Engineers Australia and the World Metropolis Congress in 2014, on top of 800 other events on sustainability since 2000!

But if the returns are so high, why aren’t all major organisations using engagement strategies to inspire their employees to act as crucibles of change?

Well, the short answer is that it can be incredibly daunting. However, with years of experience in doing just that, MCI’s Sustainability Services team has found that as a first step, it’s important to ensure the following:

  1. Strong Sense of Ownership

Placing the onus of organizing initiatives on your employees can result in successful sustainability programmes because it (1) requires a more long-term commitment, increasing the continuity of the project; (2) forces staff to assess if and how they are meeting the needs of the targeted community; and (3)Bee encourages input from people closest to the problems.

Creating a small task force with representatives from different functional areas is often an effective way of creating this sense of ownership while promoting cross departmental collaboration and synergies. MCI China for instance – who received the 2014 Innovation in Sustainability Award – did just that. They have even created a logo for their team – a bee, as the word in Mandarin has the same pronunciation as “Pioneer”.

  1. Employees Must Feel Engaged

An organisation could have an incredible initiative plan, but if no one knows about it or is interested in joining, it will lose much of its impact. As such, it is crucial that organisations both communicate the benefits of their sustainability initiatives and select programs that other employees can identify with and rally behind. What more, a recent study by PwC found that 56% of recent college graduates would consider leaving a company that didn’t have sustainability values that aligned with their own.

India Blood DriveThis is an element the overall winner and recipient of the 2014 Leadership in Sustainability Award – MCI India – was incredibly successful at. Not only did MCI India organize over 25 different community projects across the subcontinent and dedicate 565 hours towards them, it was also able to engage over 2,000 people in the MCI building complex to spread awareness and dispel myths related to blood donation. As a result, enough blood was donated to save 260 lives!

  1. Recognition

Recognition can be an incredibly powerful motivator. As such, when teams produce tangible results which bring value to the targeted beneficiaries those responsible deserve to be recognized – hence the MCI Sustainability Awards! Additionally, employees should be encouraged to share their successes with their co-workers via internal communications channels as it helps weave employee involvement into the organisational culture.

At this juncture it is important to note that though employee involvement programs can be spearheaded by anyone in an organisation, it is crucial that employees receive support from the organisations’ leadership.

“Sustainability is part of our core identity, and the MCI Dream is about a desire to build a company with a culture of care and responsibility,” comments MCI CEO Sébastien Tondeur. “If we didn’t have the talent we do in our organisation, and management as supportive as it is, any sustainability initiative would be destined to crumble and fail. But thankfully, this is not the reality of MCI. Because of the dedicated individuals who make this organisation great, instead of being disheartened and cynical, I stand in front of you proud.”

MCI India Wins Gold at WOW Awards Asia for Conference of the Year, SAP TechEd 2015

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Last week, MCI India picked up the coveted Conference of the Year Gold Award from WOW Awards Asia for its work on SAP TechEd 2015, an innovative three-day conference that involved a 35-member strong MCI team, a show floor area of 67,500 sq. ft., and over 14,000 delegates, representing more than 200 organisations.

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About WOW

The WOW Awards were instituted by EVENTFAQS Media in 2008 to recognise excellence in events and experiential marketing. Over 6 editions, the platform has grown to become a celebration of innovation, evolution and unique initiatives beyond the awards as well.

WOW Awards Asia recognises the best campaigns from across the continent and this time had entries from all over Asia, with over 1,088 applications across more than 50 categories.

Find out more here: www.wowawards.com