The Mermaid conference centre in London has ditched client goody bags in favour of charity badges – and has urged other venues to do the same. The venue has announced that 30 per cent of its marketing spend will be donated to Meeting Needs in 2016. The decision was prompted after the venue recently became an official charity partner for the organisation, which works to raise funds for worthy causes relevant to the events industry all across the world.
Urging others to consider charities more in their sales and marketing activities, Alicia Duncan, general manager at The Mermaid, said; “I am thrilled to support our industry’s charity. We’ve taken the decision not to give out any more goody bags and instead to purchase Meeting Needs badges to give to all our clients and prospective clients. 
“I would love to see other venues and organisations adopt a similar approach, something that can help to make a difference to the lives of others, however small.” 
Jennifer Jenkins, chair of Meeting Needs, said: “We are delighted and hugely appreciative to Alicia at The Mermaid for leading this approach to raise more money for us to support children and families around the world who desperately need our help. It is such a simple but effective idea and one which many venues and associations could easily embrace.”
In addition to its support for Meeting Needs, The Mermaid also actively participates in Macmillan’s Coffee Morning campaign and recently hosted a birthday party free of charge for a young cancer sufferer who was unable to celebrate her 18th birthday due to her illness. Working with registered charity Steph’s Wishes, her 19th birthday party at the venue was a huge success with her family and friends.  In addition, in April this year, the Champions of Magic – the UK’s leading band of mind-blowing illusionists and magicians – took to the stage at The Mermaid to perform to an audience of over 500 seriously ill children and their families, in partnership with Rays of Sunshine Children’s Charity. 
Duncan added: “We are planning a series of further fundraising activities over the coming months to support those far less off than us. We have an amazing venue in the City with tonnes of flexible spaces which we are happy to provide for the benefit of those in need.”