Tradeshows have long been a place to learn about the industry and network with colleagues. Today, they are becoming a place to give back and pay it forward.
At the 2019 LIMRA Group & Worksite Benefits Conference in Providence, RI, attendees had the opportunity to participate in a volunteer event. This year, LIMRA selected Project Sweet Pea, a non-profit organization that supports families during their time in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Before the conference stated, LIMRA hosted a volunteer event with Project Sweet Pea. Conference attendees and LIMRA volunteers assembled and packed Project Sweet Pea care packages. Volunteers from Project Sweet Pea set up the supplies and organized the activity to make for an efficient and enjoyable event. The well-organized event was an excellent ice-breaker to begin the LIMRA conference and a rewarding way to “pay it forward.”
As conference attendees, the Paylogix team was excited to participate. Paylogix’ Alicia Munian sat down with Diane Hrenko, Division Coordinator for Sweet Pea Southern New England to discuss the results!
Munian: What is the background behind project Sweet Peas? How did you decide to join?
Hrenko: Project Sweet Peas started with three mothers that met each other in the NICU. Two of the babies passed away and one survived. The one baby that survived still continues to suffer from hardships from a premature birth to this day. Through their personal experience, they became aware of the different challenges that parents going through these unfortunate situations face. Most people know someone who have had a family member who had a baby in the NICU, or had one themselves.
I personally had twins born prematurely in the NICU, and the support that I was given was vital to me getting through that. It was so important for me to be a pillar for support for families in need. I researched a way to give back and found It is such a difficult time for everyone involved in the situations that these parents go through—only someone who went through it or is going through it can truly understand.
Munian: Volunteers spent two hours of their time on making care packages. What was the total impact from the volunteer project?
Hrenko: I was amazed by how much got done in such a short time span. It took a lot of work to put everything together, but it was so worth it. Everyone worked very diligently and were dedicated to completing the assigned tasks. With all the volunteers working hard, we were able to help over 1,000 families with the care packages created. We work with sixteen different hospitals in the Northeast region that will be benefitting from everyone’s efforts. Without the help of LIMRA attendees, it would have taken us at least two weeks to create all those packages. Helping hands are always needed.
Munian: People are typically gathered at a tradeshow to generate business and network. What was it like facilitating this volunteer activity with professionals from the LIMRA insurance conference?
This was such a great way to start off the conference. People commentated on how this event helped them to network before the conference even started, and it got them to have conversations with people that they otherwise might not have gotten a chance to talk to. Working on a volunteer project allows other attendees to think of the human aspect behind the people that they will be interacting with professionally. It was amazing to see everyone come together and work together as a team for a common goal. It makes the transition to business smoother and could help create more lucrative connections.
There are some business travelers who attend multiple conventions or trade shows every year. Providing a volunteer experience is a rewarding way to differentiate your event. Attendees get an opportunity to network with each other, make connections, and make an impact together.
What volunteer activities have you seen at recent tradeshows or conferences? Will you be volunteering at your next tradeshow? Tweet your answer with #PayItForwardWithPaylogix and we will make a $1 donation for every tweet.
If you wish to donate to Project Sweet Peas, you may give a gift here : https://www.projectsweetpeas.com/make-a-gift.html/.