Is Your Event Hurting The Planet?

Most of us know that we’re chugging through the Earth’s resources like they’re going out of style. Most of us, including event organisers, know this is a problem. Whether it’s an internal sales presentation or a large trade show, meetings and events consume huge amounts of energy.  A one-hour meeting for 65 people (using standard presentation formats) can burn around 1,000 KWh of energy. It takes approximately 500 kgs of coal to produce that much power!

Not only does this increase our environmental footprint, it also hurts event planners’ wallets.  The holy trinity of power, paper and printing puts a sizable dent into the average event budget. An event app could vastly decrease your event carbon footprint.

The good news is there’s plenty we can do to make meetings and events green and clean:

Green Venues

Start at the beginning and pick venues with environmental accreditation.  Lots of natural light, ventilation and insulation reduces the reliance on power.  When power is required, energy from green providers or facilitators (e.g. Green Power) gets a big tick. Venues with easy access to public transportation will win favours with attendees.  As will choosing locations closest to where most people live! Support your guests’ enthusiasm for recycling and reusing by asking the venue to provide plenty of waste appropriate bins.

Better Power

We’ve already mentioned the venue’s power supplier, but what about other event partners? Check in with your caterers, event app providers and entertainment to make sure they are using energy efficient technology and practices.  Think about whether you really do need the lights on and the heating turned up to max (hint: if people are in short sleeves in the middle of winter turn the dial down a notch).  It’s an obvious one, but at the end of the day, make sure all non-essential powered equipment is turned off.

Gentle Materials

Trees are awesome, particularly when they are alive and kicking in nature! Reduce the demand for pulped greenery by switching to mobile technology. Mobile Event apps in particular provide a great alternative to printed brochures, maps, timetables and even banner adds.  An event app can also be used for the event registration.  And don’t forget to make the most of email in your event marketing.  As a ‘thank-you’ to your fabulous attendees why not offer them an e-satchel, such as virtualgoodybags, instead of the traditional goody bag. Not only does it save on landfill, you can cram many more treats into a digital space.

Recycle & Reuse

Despite using an event app, you may need some printed material too, but you can make use of recycled and biodegradable paper and materials. Printing on both sides makes good use of space too.  It’s hard to find a green option for those plastic name badges, but you can make sure they’re collected at the event end for reuse.  Get your attendees and suppliers to follow your lead by offering incentives for the return of unused items (make sure they have access to plenty of drop-off points).

Shout It Out

Making your meeting or event green and clean requires the support of everyone involved. From attendees to sponsors, each person plays their part. Communicate your green commitment alongside the event marketing. Include all the information people need on your event app. Where recycling bins can be found, energy saving tips and details regarding any eco awards.  Stats are always powerful – think about raising awareness by promoting the tangible benefits of green initiatives.