Sustainability and green events are here to stay! It means that we are making changes to avoid the depletion of natural resources, and it was only a matter of time before these efforts spilt into the events and conference industry. Fusion Travel is very proud to be onboard this continuing trend – by creating sustainable activities, we can truly make an impact and reduce our footprint.
All the key role players of an event or conference must be on board to make a green event successful – venues, suppliers, organisers and especially the clients.
Looking after the bottom line and being sustainable doesn’t have to be expensive –start by going paperless. Every event is unique. Although not all the suggestions may be relevant or viable, every bit helps to make the event greener.
Consider a few of these ideas when planning your next special event –
- Replace regular bins with disposable bins for recycling – paper, plastic, cans. Ensure that recycling bins are visible and clearly marked to encourage proper recycling efforts by attendees or delegates.
- Consider giving sustainable promotional gifts – ensure that a clear message about being sustainable is communicated on all of the promotional material.
- Instead of handing out gifts (which often contain plastic or other non-biodegradable materials), donate to a charity.
- Send a media release and distribute advertising material about the event’s sustainability aim.
- Instead of offering plastic pens, choose sustainably sourced wooden pencils.
- Avoid plastic drink stirrers. Provide wooden stirrers instead.
- Use potted plants for centrepieces.
- For goodie bags, use fabric or natural tote bags as they can be reused, recycled or washed.
- Consider the necessity of printing signs, programs and menus — print on recycled paper.
- Instead of using name badges in plastic pockets, use good quality cardboard name tags.
- Encourage attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles. Add notice when sending out the e-invites & event reminders. Have water refill stations at the event where delegates can refill their bottles.
- Sell branded stainless steel bottles to any attendees who might have forgotten to bring their own.
- Encourage delegates to car-share to the event.
- If lanyards are necessary, choose lanyards made of natural fibres with metal clips.
- Serve vegetarian and vegan options to reduce the amount of meat served.
An essential part of hosting successful sustainable events will include involving your venue. It is vital to choose a site that has their own environmental policies and that practices good food & beverage management eg. order fish only from sustainably managed sources or order seasonal and locally produced foods. Choose a venue that uses LED lights because they are more energy-efficient and reduce carbon footprint. A good idea is to consider a venue with lots of natural light and outdoor space.
Other ideas to consider is to use whiteboards instead of paper flipcharts, reusable signs without dates and to book accommodation within walking distance of your conference venue.
Ask attendees for feedback on your efforts at greening the event – they might have good ideas or suggestions of their own, and their feedback might be very valuable.
Your event is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness and to lead by example.
Hosting a sustainable event is all about a mindset – the event and conference industry is one of the biggest in terms of environmental impact and as such, has a responsibility to move towards greening. Let’s be mindful of our actions – this is what makes us true professionals.
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