Going Green: Hosting a Sustainable Event
When you think about it – events have a big impact on the environment. There’s electricity, heating, air conditioning, travel, and ticketing. The good news is there are lots of ways you can offset this AND impress delegates. The trick is to tear up the rule book and re-think everything you know about event organisation… Organising a green event is a cinch with the Get Invited guide!
This is where you can make a big statement, letting delegates know exactly where you stand when it comes to low carbon living. The easiest option is to choose a venue that boasts about its green credentials – green events have become trendy, so with a bit of luck there will be one that meets your requirements. You should be looking for one that is LEED certified, or that sets out its energy and water saving strategies. Some environmentally conscious venues even have a team that will help you go green.
If you have your heart set on a venue that isn’t sustainable, why not try negotiating environmental practices with them? Just make sure your requirements are included in the contract. Don’t forget to ask for data setting out the monitoring and evaluation of sustainable activities.
Paper is so 20th century. Organise your ticketing online with Get Invited ticketing platform and you can put another big tick in the low carbon box. We’ve designed a clever smartphone scanning app, so attendees don’t have to print out their tickets. It makes checking in so much faster and is one more way to make your event environmentally friendly.
Where possible, choose a venue which is well served by public transport. As an added incentive, why not try negotiating free or reduced rate tickets for attendees with the local transport provider? Alternatively, you could schedule a shuttle bus (preferably hiring a company that uses hybrid vehicles). For those guests who prefer who make their own way there, provide them with information about taxi companies who use hybrid cars.
Ideally, there will be hotels and B&Bs nearby with clear green policies. Strike up a discount with these and promote them to attendees, explaining why you are recommending these establishments.
If there isn’t accommodation near the venue with sustainable practices, ensure that the alternatives you recommend are within walking distance. Suggest that attendees take part in the linen reuse programs and remind them to turn off lights, televisions and heating when they leave their rooms.
Local, Organic Food and Drink
When hiring caterers or putting together menu plans with the venue events team, cutting down on food (and drink) miles should be your top priority. Organic food and drinks are produced without the use of synthetic chemicals, so are significantly more environmentally friendly.
Disposable cutlery and crockery should be avoided wherever possible. If this isn’t feasible, they should be made of recyclable materials, and plenty of recycling bins should be provided. If your venue doesn’t provide these materials, consider investing in your own. Vintage plates, cups and bowls are a green option which can be sourced easily and inexpensively (plus, you’ll have them for your next event).
Suggest establishing a compost heap for food waste at the venue. In addition to boosting your event’s green credentials, this will be an ongoing benefit to the venue.
The internet is your best friend when it comes to event promotion. Email, Google ads and social media are the obvious places to turn when promoting the event.
But what about afterwards? It’s standard practise to leave certain types of events with armfuls of paper. Sponsors and exhibitors can keep delegates engaged with free apps, digital displays, downloadable content, and social media groups. These can be set up in advance of the event, so attendees arrive better prepared and more focused. What’s more, online resources are much more likely to be looked at after the event, than a pile of leaflets.
If paper must be used, specify that sponsors and exhibitors should use Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper. Source a printing company that uses environmentally friendly card and Energy Star certified printers when it comes to your own business cards.
Low carbon is more than just a theme – it’s a practice that you can carry from event to event. By reconsidering everything from the venue, to marketing, to transportation, it’s possible to put together an event – big or small – that plays a positive role when it comes to the environment and sets your events apart from the crowd.