Sustainability's importance is rising worldwide day by day. It is becoming a great trend to be more sensitive about planet Earth's future and do something about it. In this article, you will have more insight on what you can do, how you can do it and why it is important for your events to be more eco-friendly.
So, as event professionals, it is a responsibility to follow this trend. Make yourself and world a favor and begin to change in the new year! We could make 2020 a great green year and continue to undertake this green movement.
Imagine; last year, only the business events generated more than $1.07 trillion globally (Event Industry Council, 2018). So, it is safe to say that events industry has a significant share in global market. It is beyond imagination how it could impact the environment if every single event adopts a sustainable event approach.
Why is green event approach important?
According to scientific researches, if we do not change our habits to be more environmental friendly; there are no good days waiting above us, for real. Since awareness to risks of our planet's future raised, people started to change their ways of doing everything.
Whether we talk about globally respected event organizations or individual event professionals; green event is an uprising term in the industry and it is growing non-stop. So, it is time to be more responsible for Earth and acting on it. Paying more attention to environmental details empowers your brand's reputation as a perk, too.
Thanks to Greta Thunberg who played a leader role in youth movements, climate activism became more popular than ever, recently.
Who is Greta Thunberg and what is she talking about?
Greta Thunberg is a Swedish 17 year-old girl who has an Asperger's syndrome. She began to a school strike by sitting in front of Sweden parliament building for two weeks, then it went viral.
In her signature speech she made in the UN, she said "People are dying; entire ecosystems are collapsing". She is pointing out to the climate change and the risk of planet Earth approaching to an apocalyptic end because of that. Her single-handed strike has led the world to change against this risk.
So, the only thing that should be done is, catching up with this trend by applying eco-friendly steps to every aspect of businesses, including events.
You can check our previous article Advantages & Management Principles of Sustainable Events on this subject to learn how to turn it for your benefits, as well.
What is your part of the share for sustainability on Earth as an event planner?
As event planners, you are the architects of gathering people to engage with each other, improve themselves, share and teach. Regardless the volume of your event, it is very important to be more conscious about these significant details. The fact that you can implement a greener approach to your events affects your ability to impact your clients and participants for good.
It is your chance to be the leader of your own movement by applying these disciplines to your events so that you would be the impact of your clients and participants, too.
You might say that your event is not that big to make a difference; remember, Greta was just a 16 year old kid when she created a worldwide change movement. Never underestimate your events and yourself; if she could have done it, why won't you?
How can you implement sustainability mentality to your events?
According to EMB, an average event participant generates almost 2 kg of waste per event day. It is including food, water, cups, papers, etc. If you want to change these statistics and reduce it, you need to come up with a waste management plan and stick to it as a responsible event planner whether it be a wedding, conference or a business congress, exhibition; you name it.
You can rent recycling bins from a local supplier if your venue doesn't already have recycling bins. On another question of how to encourage your attendees to actually use them? Well, you can always gamify so that they feel incentivized to take action on it. For example, you can create a challenge and put a counter near the bins and at the end of the event; you can call out the numbers and brag about it.
Reducing your waste
When you think about the amount of coffees and napkins used in events, even changing those to be eco-friendly matters a lot. So, shop for recyclable cups, utensils and tissues.
If you are serving food in your event, make sure your attendees know that. You can even offer them a selection of choice so that you know exactly the amount and who is going to eat what. It is possible for you to add a warning stating that "it is important for our environment to not to waste food" which would affect your attendees' attitude for sure.
Choosing technology over traditional platforms
What do we mean by that? Think about your last event. You probably had flyers for marketing purposes, printed documents to "ease" your and your team's job, create bills for invoices, etc.
Do you actually need to have those in hand, really?
It is possible to use online event management solutions for all of these and more. For example, using MeetingHand you will have a collection of solutions for free.
You can automatize your registration form to make the software collect itself. In addition, software allows your attendees to download their proforma invoice or, if they paid, invoice. To learn more, check out: Automate Your Tedious Conference Organizing Processes Like a BOSS!
You can easily create your webpage with no design knowledge needed whatsoever. Use SEO to outstand your event in the market. To learn more, check out: 5 Essential SEO Tips for Event Web Pages
You can use your webpage to promote your event on social media, too. This would help you to get in touch with international attendees and/or be more memorable by staying in the game. To learn more, check out: 18 Tips for Event Promotion on Twitter.
You can create your own custom app or use a container app to be at your attendees' phone all the time. It is handy to send push notifications, share your event program, create content which will do more than covering printed documents. You can even encourage your attendees to not to hand business cards but engaging with each other through this app.
This feature in particular would be so handy to see any registrant of yours sorting them by their purchases. You can download them as a bulk in an Excel file and won't need a printing and mixing and matching. It will already be tedious in your own computer. I promise you, we have helped many event planners and it only made their jobs easier comparing with the traditional methods.
Please let us know your ways of going green in your events.
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