Thirty-One Gifts welcomed more than 14,000 attendees to Columbus, Ohio, for its National Conference July 22-25. The annual event made a big impact on the local community, well beyond the estimated $17.5 million economic footprint it left behind.
At this year’s conference, Thirty-One launched the #Share31 movement to celebrate its host cities and its hometown of Columbus. The fashion, accessories and home decor brand, which takes its name from the Bible’s Proverb 31, encouraged its salespeople to pay it forward with random acts of kindness throughout the community—whether by picking up a stranger’s tab, giving up a parking spot or leaving a 31 percent tip.
Individuals could then share each act of kindness on social media using the #Share31 hashtag. For each post, Thirty-One made a 31 cent donation to its philanthropic partner, Ronald McDonald House Charities. The company maxed out its goal of $10,000 in donations to both the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio and of Denver, where Thirty-One held another Conference event two weeks earlier.
The company fully anticipates its consultants will continue to build the movement as an ongoing effort, says Wendy Bradshaw, Thirty-One Director of Community Relations & Philanthropy.
“In the end the campaign surpassed our expectations and allowed us to walk into our host cities with our heart on our sleeve,” Bradshaw told DSN. “…It created an amazing energy around the hotels, restaurants and convention staff as we interacted during the week.”
Approximately 60 percent of the crowd that filled Columbus’s Nationwide Arena were first-time conference attendees. The company rolled out its fall product line and celebrated its salesforce, which generated revenue of $763 million in 2013. The conference also included a tribute to retiring President Andy Neri.
With Founder Cindy Monroe at the helm, Thirty-One is the fastest-growing woman-owned company in the world and the No. 17 company in direct selling. The company employs more than 1,400 at its warehouses and supports more than 118,000 independent sales consultants in the U.S. and Canada.