I’m going to tell you a little story!
A few years ago I was introduced to Katie Krawcyzk via a connection that a friend had made via Twitter. It was a rainy day, and we were in Niagara Falls for the Main Street Grand Opening which Katie had planned. We immediately had common ground. Since I had tagged along with her event photographer, I was there for the entire day. I cheered on runners in a 5K race. I rode on a unicycle (on the cyclist’s shoulders). Katie found the time to introduce me to the event planner for Buffalo Citybration. And it did not take long for Katie to become close friend. She is someone I know I can talk to, and I deeply appreciate it.
It was only a few weeks later when I met Dan Gigante while at an event during Buffalo Citybration with a group of random Twitter users. We were all tweeting a live commentary about the presenters and the event as a whole. Sarcastic is probably an understatement. Something we said made Dan come over and introduce himself. Thinking back on it, he made an impression on me.
It was Mashable’s very first Social Media Day and Katie’s Birthday when the three of us were in the same room along with two hundred or so of our closest Twitter friends. I specifically remember taking a s’more cupcake from Zillycakes for her. It was good night. There were handful of people I knew, and a room full of new faces. It was mixing and mingling at its finest. It was also the night Dan and Katie met, and they have been the unstoppable force behind You and Who for the past 2 years.
You and Who is brand that I have supported since the very beginning, and one that I continue to champion.
I have voted countless times in contests. I have Tweeted. I have liked posts on Facebook. I have mentioned this brand in previous blog posts. And last Christmas I took the money I could have spent holiday gifts and bought five You and Who shirts. The only things I asked were that they mail one shirt to me and, donate the remaining nine shirts to shelters in the cities that I love. They happily fulfilled my requests, and they graciously thanked me for what I had done. And I just find something so magical about them.
Recently You and Who has launched a program that has collided with my professional world. Who’s Hungry’s operating model is simple. You and Who will provide custom printed t-shirts with your design for conferences, events, your team or function. Or they are happy to assist you in design resources. For every shirt that is ordered they will donate a meal to any shelter of choice anywhere in the United States. The t-shirts are available for purchase on their website. And I am confident they would allow to you buy in bulk. But don’t quote me on that last statement.
The event planner in me can see about a thousand different uses for the Who’s Hungry program. I could honestly give you countless scenarios. Anyone and everyone from trade show vendors to wedding planners can have custom t-shirts for their events. Trade show producers could print shirts for their team and show a unified front while still representing their brand’s personality. Trade show vendors could utilize the program as an effective marketing tool for their brand by passing out t-shirts with custom artwork to attendees. Brides and grooms could have unique t-shirt favors for their guests or even give them to out of town guests in welcoming kits. And at the very same time all of them would be giving back to the communities of their choice.
In my opinion the Who’s Hungry program offers an amazing opportunity for event professionals near and far. So the next time you have a soiree on the horizon remember this post and give back.