Creating enduring, innovative and fit-for-purpose events takes more than one individual or even one entity. Wales is unique in being the first country in the world to introduce legislation on improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales - the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act. It attracts interest from countries across the world, offering a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, positive change to current and future generations.
Wales’ wider wellbeing agenda is also helping to attract major business events; from proactively planning events through a circular economy approach and ensuring unnecessary waste is prevented and products are re-used, to consciously focusing on events which support a greater seasonal or geographical spread of visitation, to considering resources used in events, for example where materials are from and what they are made from.
This approach to sustainability is seen as a given to some of the key players in Wales’ events industry. Considering sustainability and inclusivity in events organisation has become the norm, and in turn have become attractive and vital to major business clients worldwide. The progressive approach in Wales is a USP when attracting major business events
Wales’ flagship events venue, ICC Wales, won a social impact award from Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in recognition of the benefit that ICC Wales brings to the local community and the economy. Speaking about the impact of the Future Generations Act and how the ICC Wales strives to promote wellbeing and sustainability, Danielle Bounds, Sales Director, explained that internationally clients from different parts of the world are more and more invested in asking more authentically about sustainability and the environment, as well as diversity and inclusion and how they provide the facilities and opportunities for their clients to do this. Examples of this include a political party event which was based on the quality of daylight, quiet spaces, outdoor woodland, sustainability and the vegan catering offering. Similarly, a major volunteering organisation chose ICC Wales for the setting and the woodland, natural daylight on offer here and having the flexibility and open space to run safely around the venue as part of the event activities.
Danielle Bounds, sales director, ICC Wales
The Wellbeing of Future Generations Act really is a major selling point, because we're the only country that has it and we led the way, so it makes us stand out as an authentic leaders in this area that other destinations and venues may now only recently be starting to look at."
Danielle Bounds also states that "sustainability is a high priority for us in the design and the construction of the venue and we are committed to best practice around event delivery and wellbeing. Our natural environment has been incorporated into outdoor meeting spaces and breakouts like walking trails and natural daylight which are often so lacking in big conference event venues.
We also use fresh Welsh produce that is known for its sustainability in our menus. Getting some fresh air and nourishing your body so that you are in your best kind of place to be able to go and network and retain information is vital."
Graeme Farrow, creative director at the Wales Millenium Centre was named in the outgoing Future Generation Commissioner’s list of 100 people changing the face of Wales for his work as a long term champion for the role that arts and culture can play in wider well-being, leading the Wales Millennium Centre to focus their work on supporting and developing young people.
The landmark arts venue, which has an annual footfall of 1.8 million and serves as a cultural campus as well as being home to several other organisations, opened in Cardiff Bay at the turn of the millennium and was awarded a Queens Award for Sustainability.
The venue has installed solar panels on its roof to reduce their carbon footprint and facilitate rainwater harvesting and is close to achieving its goal of becoming entirely plastic free in its bars and cafes.
In the stunning setting of Pembrokeshire National Coastal Park, the TYF Adventure Centre, provides a range of exhilarating and calm thought provoking outdoor team building and incentive experiences. Invented by TYF in 1986, coasteering activities can be as gentle or as exhilarating as the group wish to experience, from jumping off cliffs to exploring caves, or try paddle boarding on the beautiful blue Pembrokeshire waters for a more gentle incentive experience.
For corporate groups TYF offers an immersive approach to looking at sustainability and how making connections can contribute to the wellbeing of future generations. Whether its looking to reward and refresh teams or develop a new and improved approach to create game changing impact to a business through the B-Corp programme to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Andy Middleton, Founder of TYF
Having lived and worked all over the world, coming back to my home of St David’s in Pembrokeshire revealed that what we have in Wales is utterly unique and special. We enjoy bringing people together here to connect and challenging people to think more deeply about nature, our environment, and the shift needed to rebalance wellbeing."
Addo - a promise to Wales
Addo means to promise. To pledge. To vow. in the Welsh language. Our industry, our communities and regions are working hard and we are asking people to invest emotionally in Wales and to show that they care too and that we’ll all be playing our part in caring for ourselves and others. As your clients prepare to explore Wales, we're encouraging you to share the promise with them, to care for each other and this special place we call home.
Our key communication message to business event buyers, planners and agencies is 'Visit Wales. Safely'. This is a simple phrase that you can use in your marketing and promotion of your Wales programme, to help encourage your clients to be responsible during their visit.
The focus of our messaging is a pledge that we’re encouraging everyone visiting Wales to get behind, to do the little things that make a big difference. To make a promise together, to ‘Addo’ as we explore Wales again, to care for each other, our land and for our communities. The pledge can be signed virtually on the Visit Wales website and don't forget to share your pledges and photos with us on social media #addo #meetinwales
Find out more about the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and other Welsh Government policies to create a better future,.