How to Make Your Event More Sustainable
Sustainability and carbon-neutral are words that we hear often nowadays; what were once popular buzzwords, are now an important consideration within business. Using them in the office is one thing, but where do you start when integrating those practices into an event?
Establish your impact first
In order to improve your event, you need to assess and acknowledge how your event is going to have an impact. Without this, you won't be able to work out how you can reduce waste and consumption, therefore becoming more sustainable. Remember that it's not just about waste but supporting long term ecological balance.
Ditch your paper
This is a really easy one to take up. Changing a printed programme for a bespoke mobile app including all of the details of the event is a great example. Not only does this make your event more sustainable, but offers you greater branding and ability to push regular content out to your users through the app before, during and after the event. You could send out a link to this in the email they receive then they sign up to attend the event so you can get them engaged right from the very beginning.
Re-useable water bottles
Gift each of your attendees with a re-useable water bottle that is branded and make sure your venue has fountains, jugs or taps available. This is another win-win situation where you can reduce the amount of plastic bottle bought during the event, as well as gifting a product to your attendees free of charge, and having your branding carried around. With a bit of luck, they will continue to use the bottle post event and your brand will be promoted further, as well as being at the forefront of their minds at all times!
Choose organic and locally produced food and drink when deciding on your venue and caterers. This helps the communities local to the event and cutting transport emissions as well as offering you and your guests a better quality of produce.
We recently attended an event where the organisers over catered dramatically, and we helped them arrange for the food to be picked up and distributed to low income families and people living on the streets, in the form of food parcels.
Whether your planning for this to be a one-off event or something that is re-occurring, use sustainable resources such as lanyards or good quality badge holder that can be collected and re-used at a later date. Changing cheaper throwaway materials for more sustainable solutions will not only reduce your waste, but also reduce your costs in the long run - as well as enhancing the experience for your guests. Often, your venue will be able to provide these for you at no extra cost.
Choosing green partners
Make sure you find a venue that's ethos is in line with your company when it comes to sustainability. As well as the venue, make sure all of your event partners including sponsors, suppliers and guest speakers’ companies are sustainably-minded. Many businesses will have gained sustainability certification or awards. Some venue's may have an ISO 20121 certificate [Hyperlink this to https://www.iso.org/iso-20121-sustainable-events.html]. If you're unsure then ask - not all businesses will display this on their website or having them hanging in reception.
Delegate carbon footprint
As well as what you can do within your event, it's important to think about those that are attending your event. To reduce the amount of transport emissions from travel consider a venue that is close to public transport links such as trains and airports, encourage car share or even arrange a coach if your guests are coming from the same location. Delegates that are further away may not always have to travel to your event to experience it. Virtual events are growing in popularity and come highly recommended from those who have tried it in the past. It also saves delegates the long drive and added expense of accommodation if they are coming from afar!
Being part of a larger digital group, we love projection mapping within events! Done right, this can really get your guests talking and is something that's still unseen to a lot of people. Using projection mapping to theme the room is a far more economically friendly way to decorate the room than heavy props and decor. As a starting point, try and think about how you can omit some of your paper resources and replace them with projection mapping ideas.
Go green in the planning process
Start as you mean to go on! We do all of our planning digitally and very rarely turn the printer on - so it can be done! Make sure you ask yourself if it's necessary to be printed before you go ahead and press the button. Tech has moved forward with this new approach offering tools to highlight in different colours and options to roll back to previous versions.
Hopefully these will get you thinking about how you can make your event more sustainable. Remember, events globally create a significant amount of waste each year and have a big impact the environment and communities. So, it's important to reduce that impact where possible and become more economically sustainable. If you'd like to hear more about what we do to make our events sustainable or would like our team to assist you, then get in touch.