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Go Green: How To Start Creating Sustainable Events

People are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their lifestyles have on the environment, and they expect organizations to do the same. Sustainability has been an important event trend for several years, but with the...

People are becoming increasingly aware of the impact their lifestyles have on the environment, and they expect organizations to do the same. Sustainability has been an important event trend for several years, but with the pandemic and advancements in event technology, it has started making serious waves. Organizations now have several tangible ways to make their conferences and events greener.

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The environmental impact of in-person events is significant. On average, one attendee generates 1.89 kg (4.16 lbs) of waste per day, and air, train, and car travel contribute to 84% of the event's carbon footprint. Considering this, sustainable events are not just desirable options or marketing tactics; they are our responsibility. However, event planners should be wary of greenwashing - conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about a company's environmental practices.

Be honest with your audience about how you're implementing sustainable practices. Let's explore the best ways to make your events more sustainable.

Virtual Events

Going all virtual is the best thing event planners can do if they're dedicated to the sustainable event trend. Virtual events have a significantly lower environmental impact than in-person events because they require no traveling, lodging, COVID-compliant measures, or catering services. Research from the University of Michigan shows that a particular online event produced 66 times fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its in-person counterpart.

If you decide to go virtual for environmental reasons, let your online audience know. Thank them for being part of your sustainability mission. Share information about your event's reduced impact on the environment to spark higher engagement levels around going green. However, keep in mind that virtual attendees and organizers still consume energy, food, and create waste.

Hybrid Events

The second-best solution that supports the sustainability event trend is producing a hybrid event. Hybrid events allow a significant portion of your in-person audience to migrate online or to a venue that requires less travel. However, simply adding a virtual audience to your in-person event does not make it more sustainable. The more attendees, the bigger the impact on the environment.

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There are different models for hybrid events, and not all are equally sustainable. Consider hosting your hybrid experience in a studio or several regional, local hubs.

Studio-Produced Hybrid Events: These events are the most environmentally friendly as there are typically very few in-person attendees. The majority of the audience interacts with content and each other virtually. The benefits include more flexibility for event planners and high production quality.

Regional Hubs: Rather than hosting the in-person portion of your hybrid event in one venue, consider planning several smaller in-person gatherings in regions where most of your attendees live. This reduces the need for air travel, which is one of the most problematic aspects of the events industry.

Venue Considerations

If going hybrid or virtual is not an option for you, there are still ways to make in-person events more sustainable. Choose venues that are easily reachable by public transportation, have ISO 20121 certification, have solar panels, have local restaurants nearby, offer eco-friendly lodging, and use renewable sources, LED lights, and other energy-efficient systems for your production needs.

Curb The Food Waste!

Food waste in the events industry is significant, but there are small steps planners can take to lessen the impact. Offer vegan and vegetarian options as they have a lower carbon footprint. Avoid overordering food by accurately estimating the guest count. If there are leftovers, partner with local programs and donate the food to those in need. Additionally, promote the use of reusable water bottles and biodegradable cups instead of plastic ones.

Go Paperless With Event Technology!

Event platforms, RFID technology, and social media platforms have revolutionized the way we communicate and interact with each other at events. There is no longer a need for paper signage, printed schedules, or branding materials. Everything can live on the platform, allowing attendees to have all the information at their fingertips. This also enables real-time updates and offers a page dedicated to sustainability, informing your attendees about your support for the sustainable event trend.

Going paperless not only saves the environment but also saves money in your event budget. You no longer need to print materials, store them, or pay for labor to manage and distribute them. It's a green and budget-friendly solution.

Join The Sustainable Event Trend

Hopping on the sustainable event trend is not just our duty, but it's also a great way to attract more customers who align with our brands. Consumers are more likely to support companies that share their values, and sustainability is something people care deeply about.

We have covered a few changes you can make in your event strategy to plan sustainable events. Despite their challenges, virtual events are the best way to reach your sustainability goals. Organizations can also modify their venue selection, catering choices, and rely more on event technology instead of paper.

Whichever direction you choose, it's important to make a plan, define your sustainability goals, and reach them. Sustainable event management is not easy, but it can be done! If you need an event partner who can help you reach your goals, reach out to Endless Events. As Einsteins of Events, they are all about turning your event vision into an unforgettable, sustainable experience.

2022 Event Trends Guide 2022 Event Trends Guide