Times are Changing: Learn Sustainable Event Planning

Jay Sitapara
June 8, 2017

5th June: Celebrated every year as a World Environment Day to stimulate awareness about the environment and enhance political attention and public action, is one of the most fragile issues this planet is facing presently.

We, as #EventProfs, are also responsible for a large amount of carbon footprint left on this Earth every year. And hence, it is of utmost importance to inculcate practices which can not only make our planet better but also can cut down on financial resources. 

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Hence, to help you out to help the environment, we have come up with some creative green ideas to make your event planning eco-friendly and sustainable. Have a look!

Donald Trump may not believe the idea of global warming and saving the planet but we sure do! ;)
sustainable event planning
Sustainable event planning is planning that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

Event participants are increasingly interested in products, services and experiences which support the cause of sustainable environment. Planning a sustainable event might take a long time but it definitely gives you an edge. Students and academicians are often drawn to events which promote sustainability. 

Want to go ZeeWee? 
“ZeeWee” is a nickname for a zero-waste event. That’s right; some people undertake this nearly impossible task. It combines a lot of planning, ingenuity and cooperation to create events that produces little or no waste, but we think you can do it!

List of ways for planning a sustainable event.

#1. Get everyone on board: Make sustainability a priority from the very beginning even if you’re working with vendors, friends or family. If everyone is on the same page from the beginning then it is easier create a momentum. This will also help people in suggesting new ideas and insights.

Also, make sure that all your guests are already acknowledged about your new initiative. More the people, easier it is to roll the ball and get it going.

#2. Find the perfect timing: One way to use fewer resources is to choose the optimum time for planning your event. For example, choose a time when the weather is mild so that you don’t need to heat or cool the venue. You can also save energy by opting to hold your event during the daytime when there is no requirement of artificial lighting. 

Also, you can choose a day of the week and timings when there is not much traffic. Or maybe choosing a venue which is not much far away from the city area. Though your perfect timing should be a balance of energy- and resource-saving measures, and convenience for your guests. After all, we can’t neglect the needs of attendees.

#3. Opt for Green PR: Advertising or promoting your event shouldn’t be a big time waste of resources. Sending postcards, flyers, newsletters and print ads are so 2016. Instead, try sending out invitation electronically or through social media. Leverage Social Media, Radio and TV advertisements for event promotion.

If you must send out paper invitations or ads, make sure that you use recycled paper. Also, you can make it as short as possible so that least amount of paper is used. Rather than having return cards for responses, tell people to phone in their RSVP or sign up for the event online. When you send out any invitations, don’t forget to mention your green initiative.

#4. Stop giving handouts: According to a study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the paper has the largest share in waste produced by an event i.e. 27 per cent. Are you surprised? I am not. You must have come home from a conference with a bunch of handouts, flyers, packets and what not. And where are all those flyers now? In the trash, right?

Make your event paper light! Best solution? Create an event website and upload all your necessary information there. You can also provide your attendees with a digital platform to engage and send out query/feedback instead of conventional methods to reach out to you.

#5 Find the right people: The ingredients in your typical meal travel anywhere between 1000–1500 km to reach to your plate. Hence, when it comes to planning the food menu, opt for the vendors and restaurants from the locality. If possible, go for organic food.

Avoid bottled or individually packaged beverages, which can create an enormous amount of unnecessary waste. Instead, encourage attendees to bring their own beverage containers and offer filling stations, or hand out reusable beverage containers, like cups or bottles that attendees can refill.

A quick checklist to get started with Sustainable Event Planning.

Understand the concept of sustainability!

Appoint one of your organisers to consider how all aspects of the event could be more sustainable as you plan.

Use sustainability to your advantage! Students are often drawn to sustainable events, or expect them exclusively.

☐ Make the conference schedule and other relevant information available via the website, event app, or QR code. 

Purchase badges, holders, lanyards, ribbons, registration bags and other items that are reusable, biodegradable or made from post-consumer recycled content.

Utilise the venue’s digital monitors in place of printed signs.

Limit the number of items distributed.

Use LEDs or LCDs rather than plasma for flat panel monitors. 

Have clearly marked, separate bins for waste, organics, plastic/glass recycling, and paper recycling at your event.

Ask your venue to support you!

Ask your venue to support your green drive. Here, is an example how Marriott, Brazil along with Colgate supports sustainable initiatives at their event venues

sustainable event planning

Hope this would have been helpful. For suggestions, please comment. 

Would like to know how Hubilo can help you with planning a sustainable event?

Know more about it Request a Demo.

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Jay Sitapara

Jay Sitapara is an engineer having an inclination towards innovation in technology. Jay is a guest contributor to the official blog for Hubilo, an event-tech startup which aims to change the way how events are organised and people network at events. Jay is particularly passionate about crafting stimulating, resourceful and in-depth guides for Event Planners. He is specifically interested in effective use of event technology and social media for greater ROI through innovative thinking and skills. Jay is also a Digital Marketer, Editor, Community Manager and a regular contributor to Hubilo Blog. His philic nature is prone to dogs, poetry, coffee, friends and coffee with friends. If you're on Twitter, say Hello to him @jsitapara and follow his articles on blog.hubilo.com

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