Cut costs, support the environment, and learn how to create sustainable events with a difference.
Conferences and events can result in a positive tsunami of waste. All to often it’s a one off occasion, one venue dressed to impress for one day, and a whole lot of people using single use materials that will be discarded post-event. With a few thoughtful tweaks, you can push your event to be more sustainable. Here are 5 ideas for planning a sustainable event.
Lanyards, name badges, bottled water, place tags, and plastic plates and cutlery are all throwaway items that are likely to end up in the trash. Invest in reusable materials and arrange collection points at your conference so that these materials can be used at your next event, and encourage attendees to think about the life cycle of their possessions. As time has gone by this reusing of material is often referred to as the ‘circular economy’.
Worried that you’ll over-cater? Discourage food waste at your sustainable events by providing delegates with reusable food containers, and encouraging them to take home excess food at the end of the day. If not that maybe consider donating any excess food to a charity to recycle, see HERE. Possibly think about a so called French Buffet as opposed to a Russian Buffet, there is much evidence that the former results in less waste, see HERE.
Sustainability is also about promoting ethical supply chain practices and supporting local community groups. Local caterers are an ethical choice for a number of reasons. Firstly, small-batch caterers use less automated, energy-sucking equipment, and their proximity to the venue will mean that they will use less energy to transport food to and from the event. Supporting a local caterer also gives back to the community, sustaining the income of a small business.
Whether you’ve got 50 or 500 guests, many journeying bodies equal huge amounts of fuel output, contributing to air pollution. Choose a venue that is easily accessible by public transport, and one that has bike parking nearby so that you can gather your guests in one place with as little energy output as possible. Carpooling, public transport or bike riding are all lower impact transport options.
While it’s a nice touch to gift attendees personalised branded paraphernalia, the reality is that this is just a whole bunch of plastic and paper that is likely to be tossed after the event. If you are committed to a gift, make it one that lasts. How about a glass drink bottle or reusable cotton bag?
Decorations can be the most impressive element of event styling, but they may also be the most wasteful. Traditionally popular event decorations, such as wall hangings, posters, confetti and fresh flowers are single use only, meaning they’re thrown away during the event bump-out period.
Consider investing in reusable decorations that can be stored and refreshed for each event on your busy events calendar. Instead of posters or wall hangings, use digital projections to showcase your brand in the venue.
If you’re set on using fresh flowers to decorate your space, arrange a collection point at the end of the event where guests can pick up a bunch on their way out.
Reduce, reuse, recycle and have a fun time planning an event with a difference, and with longevity in mind. These five strategies will have you produce beautiful, sustainable events that are built to last.
At the venue booker we are talking to and visiting venue all day every day. When it comes to sustainability there is no one size fits all, every venue / every event is different. There is a mass of accreditation schemes, Green Tourism, Green Mark, ISO Accreditation etc etc. At the venue booker we are perhaps the only venue finding agency specialising in sustainability. We have helped guide countless clients through this quagmire. Not only this we will save you time, visiting comparing venues takes an ago & money. The latter by leveraging our buying power to secure venue rates normally only available to those who book hundreds of events a year.
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