As event planners, we all should have a personal interest in reducing the environmental impact of our events. There are some preconceived views that by going green, it will add additional costs and time to your event planning process.
In our experience with clients, by implementing some simple strategies to be more environmentally sustainable, not only will benefit the environment itself but it can reduce your costs and present a valuable marketing opportunity for your brand.
Going green does often require event planners to think outside of the box. We should start by asking ourselves the following:
How can you begin changing the way you do events?
What choices can you make to be more sustainable in your event planning?
Here are some of our ideas.
Select the right venue
The location and transportation to your event can significantly cut down on your carbon footprint. By choosing a venue close to delegates it will reduce their travel time and distance to attend.
Source venues that can also accommodate delegates during their stay and is easily accessible by public transport or by foot. This can also greatly reduce your environmental impact. Make sure that there are plenty of things to do nearby to your venue like restaurants and shopping.
Invest in ways to manage your event waste to ensure you recycle or reuse as much as possible and eliminate unnecessary excess. You should ensure your venue provides appropriate recycling and rubbish bins and they have regular collection and disposal procedures.
Events are notorious for wasting food. Ensure your guest count is accurate and finalise the amount needed with your caterers. If there are leftovers, consider donating to a local charity.
Reducing single-use plastics like water-bottles, and provide tap water stations. Encourage your delegates to bring along their own bottles to refill during the event. You should also replace all plastic cutlery, plates or cups and choose re-usable or biodegradable options instead.
Another consideration is your corporate branding. By implementing reusable signage means these can be used again for future events.
Innovation and Technology
Starting with something as simple as paper-free before, during and post event is an easy way to make a large impact.
Create an event website, app and email subscription service for your delegates. Not only will this allow direct communication with your audience in real time, it will minimise your event’s footprint. This will save also on those dreaded printing costs! Having your event information readily available on your site, blog or social channels makes it easier to share your updates, event information and connect with an extended network. You can build your audience and reach for your events while increasing engagement. And no cutting down trees!
With the advancement in technology and continuous growth in the digital world, there are many ways you can save on power to make a more sustainable event. Options like LED lighting will help minimize your footprint. Discuss with your AV team how you can create a more sustainable event by using less energy.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Being environmentally sustainable in business is a hot topic right now. As event planners, by implementing these strategies, you have the opportunity to show what your brand can offer, what your client is all about and why your delegates and sponsors should continue working with you.
At Nectar have developed our own Sustainable Event Management Policy and we will always support our clients environmental objectives to ensure we are innovators with a keen mind for protecting our planet for the future.