Meeting Needs

Chairman’s blog Q2 2024

I’d like to begin by offering an invitation to all our dear friends, volunteers, advocates, and ambassadors to attend our 2024 Showcase Reception, on Monday 3rd June at the Radisson Blu, Bloomsbury, London from 17:00. Places are limited so please register online asap.

Meeting Needs is a foundation that awards life-changing grants to small charities, with funds raised from within the meetings and events industry, and we couldn’t do this without you.

At our Showcase my wonderful Board of Trustees and I will be sharing news of where our most recent grants have been awarded and we’ll also be hearing from some of the beneficiaries, who’ll share some heart-warming stories of what wonderful work we can do, thanks to your generosity.

Some highlights, to whet your appetite; This year we have already helped Tushinde Childrens’ Trust to stamp out corporal punishment in schools in Kenya, financed a mountain ambulance for Village Africa, helped to complete the construction of a new classroom block in Zimbabwe, and for Kids Cancer Charity, we contributed to the purchase and refurbishment of caravans at Burnham on Sea. We have also awarded grants to The Snowdrop Foundation, which supports children surviving cancer, Skylarks, which helps children with disabilities and special needs, Clowns without Borders, which brings joy and play to children living in crisis, and Ella’s, who work with women who have survived trafficking and exploitation.

To my agency friends, I hope you will join our ‘Donate to Visit Scheme’ where we invite you to ask your hotel partners to donate just £25 when they visit your teams instead of bringing donuts or other gifts, which often go to waste. We have a league table running to show those agencies already signed up, with Chew storming ahead. 

Welcome to our new Charity Partners this year so far, Axiom Hospitality, Zia Bia, TFI Lodestar, Silverstone, XSEM, Mercure Manchester Piccadilly and Eventurous. Your company can be one of our special partners by just donating £500 per year.

Behind the scenes, along with its many friends and advocates, the driving force behind Meeting Needs is its voluntary Board of Trustees.

Each of these fabulous people give their time and passion willingly, to promote and develop our foundation, and help to make sure each of our fundraising activities are delivered with maximum potential and outcomes.

We have now bolstered our Foundation Board by the creation of three new committees; Strategy and Communication, which I lead, The Giving Committee, led by Karen Small and the Fundraising Committee led by Kate Conway. Our committees are made up of Board members and some of our friends and advocates from the meetings industry. We are always open to consider new members so please let me know if you are interested in joining a committee.

I offer my deepest thanks to those who organised fundraising for us at their recent events. Special thanks to GLAM who raised £14,795, Mundus who raised £1,650, Greengage for £1,250, ABPCO who raised £615 and our newest charity partner XSEM for raising £750.

We want to award more charity grants than ever this year, so please look out for and support our forthcoming events.

Royal Parks Half Marathon – This year we have 40 runners, too many to mention, but thank you to you all. Good luck to each of you in the run, and in your sponsorship challenge too. A special thank you to Cvent, who are our sponsor for this year’s Team.

M&IT Awards – this is our biggest annual auction, so could you donate a prize so that we can raise more than ever at this wonderful industry gala event? Meeting Needs is a vehicle that can help you and your company do great things, using the strength, talent, and connections we all build and enjoy by working in this wonderful industry of meetings and events. Together we are a massive force that can focus on doing great things for good causes.

Please encourage your colleagues or your bosses to use the Meeting Needs Foundation to help them to give back and let me know how we can best support you. As a foundation we can award grants to a wide range of charities, all using the collective passion, effort, and power that we all share and enjoy within the meetings and events industry. Through Meeting Needs, we event professionals can come together to do great things for those in need. Our foundation focuses specifically on smaller charities who find it so difficult to attract attention and funds, and small grants make big impacts. Our average grant is just £5,000 and these grants can be and have been life changing.


Chris Parnham MBA CDir

Chairman, Meeting Needs

& Chief Strategy Officer, veSpace & Chilled Agency.