04.26.22 | Associations

8 Tips for a More Sustainable Event

image of hands supporting nature and the environment

While virtual and hybrid events dominated our calendars for more than two years, in-person events are back on the rise. Today, being green is more than just a feel-good practice; in fact, as part of an organization’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) program, strong environmental actions can be critical to long-term competitive success in the industries of your members, and many believe are equally important for not-for-profit organizations.

Increased environmental awareness may affect your attendees’ decision to attend since the reality is that large events carry environmental consequences. In fact, nine out of 10 consumers feel that brands should instill standardized sustainability practices. As a result, keeping an eco-conscious frame of mind not only serves your organization but also your community. To get your events program in the green zone, we’re turning our attention to sustainable meetings and event practices in celebration of Earth Month.  

There are so many ways to invest in our planet through mindful event design. Here are our suggestions to instill sustainable habits into your next meeting: 

  • Speak with your vendors about eco-friendly substrates for your on-site signage supplies. These days, paper, wood, and rigid fiber options are popular sustainable materials that minimize environmental disruption.
  • Ask your expo service about reusable expo hall carpeting to reduce carpet waste.
  • Minimize waste and maintain control over cost and quantity with plated meals. In many cases, plated is a less expensive choice, but do make sure the hotel can staff plated meals accordingly.
  • Instead of single-use plastic water bottles, offer water bubbles with paper cups for breaks. You can also urge attendees to bring their own reusable water bottles (or fulfill that need and offer them as a sponsor-branded option!)
  • If you do have to use plastic bottles, ask the hotel if they have a recycling program, or work with the hotel to create one to offset any conference waste.
  • During expo hall load in/load out, request to dim the lights 50% to conserve energy.
  • Go paperless. Especially now that so many of us became familiar with using QR codes during COVID for dining and more, extend their use at your event by including them on signage and use your conference app to house everything from agendas to sponsor and exhibitor collateral.
  • In addition to ridesharing, encourage your community to support carbon offsetting for air travel and limo transfers.

Sustainable practices are a boon for Mother Nature – but they can also be a boon for your budget and your business. There are many ways to create a more sustainable event – and advance your corporate ESG goals. Contact us to explore even more.

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