Going Green With Your Next Conference
Planning a conference is a complicated task with so much to consider as well as a budget to adhere to. Understandably, this can dissuade anyone planning a conference from considering the environmental impact. However, there are many benefits to going green, and we don't mean just a reduced carbon footprint. Going green can increase your event or conference's marketability, attendance rates, cost effectiveness and sponsorship appeal, and it's good for the planet!
The Green Mindset
If you want to host a green conference, right from the onset, sustainability must be a high priority. From marketing your conference to table decorations, everything must be scrutinised to bring waste down to a minimum. Taking a reductionist approach is a great way to start planning eco-efficiency. Ask yourself what can be reduced? What can be reused? What can be recycled?
These questions can lead to innovative ways to reduce your carbon footprint, but in case you fall short, here are a few others ideas that can really give your conference a unique, eco-friendly edge:
Exclusively Online Digital Promotion
Online promotion is a given in modern times, however use of the traditional print medium is still a fairly popular option. If possible, limit or completely eradicate traditional paper invitations, posters and other forms of physical advertisement as this will reduce waste and expenditure significantly.
Encourage Public Transport
Transportation is one of the major contributors to environmental pollution, so encouraging invited guests to use public transportation will reduce the overall impact significantly. State the benefits of using public transport and make your attendees feel like they are part of your team in helping the environment.
Setting the Right Location
To allow more guests to use public transport and to reduce overall travelling time, choose a location to host your conference that has a multitude of well-connected public transportation hubs nearby and is closest to the majority of your target attendees.
Accommodation and Venue
Talking with a conference or meeting room venue about their green policies can be useful to see if they employ energy efficient equipment, heating schedules, air conditioning and other requirements. If possible, find a venue that has "green credentials" e.g. BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) in the UK or (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) LEED in the US. Other countries may have comparable standards.
Green Gift Bags
Don't give out gifts that will just be thrown away when guests leave. Give green gifts like seeds, compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) light bulbs or goods that have been produced efficiently. There are a ton of options for gifts and if chosen right they will be far more appreciated than the traditional stationary kit.
Reduce Plastic Waste
Plastic can be both environmentally damaging and take a large chunk out of any budget so keep it to a minimum. Have food provided in bulk wrapping to avoid any wasted wrapping material. Replace plastic cups and stirrers with reusable materials as a way of keeping costs and waste down. You could have customised cups with a company or event logo and encourage guests to take them away, providing a good reusable takeaway gift and advertisement.
Food sustainability is a key issue for any conference. Ease up on meat based dishes as animal agriculture is far more resource-intensive. Use locally produced food and beverages to ensure quality food and cut emissions from transportation. This also has the benefit of supporting the local economy, another plus for marketability. Give food waste to local farms to ensure everything is either consumed or used purposefully.
Clearly marked recycling bins should be a staple for any conference, so make sure to have plenty available to guests.
Leave It To Booking Partners
As an experienced conference booking agent Booking Partners can ensure your conference meets all your business needs including "going green". Make your next conference worry free and concentrate on what matters - your business and your clients.