Making your conference or event successful is pretty tough these days. Not only has the sheer number of events exploded over recent years, but it can be hard to find something that sets your event apart from the crowd. Some interesting speakers and a packed agenda isn’t enough. With everyone compressing their thoughts into 140 characters or less and constantly skipping from blog to blog, people’s attention spans are reducing and they are less inclined to give a new event a chance. If you don’t grab them from the off you’re doomed, and thanks to the inter-connected world we live in people can find out about how great or terrible an event is without even attending. Have a damp squib in year one means it’s unlikely next year will be a goer.
On top of all that there is an increasing demand for everything we do, at home or at work, to be as green and eco-friendly as possible. An event that doesn’t address people’s growing concerns for the environment could find itself the victim of bad press. Not good. So what to do? Here are six tips to help you hold an eco-friendly event.
1. Green Promotion. Traditional print advertising and marketing is definitely less effective these days. Focus your pre-event promotion on social media sites, blogs and email. Not only are they more in tune with the consumption habits of today’s punter, it will also limit the reams of leaflets and brochures. Some paper materials will be unavoidable, so try and source them from recycled paper sources and you’ll be ahead of the green game.
2. Location, Location, Location. Try and aim for a city centre location as it’ll have good public transport links, and it means amenities will be nearby which will reduce the travelling attendees do while at the event. You could offer discounts to people who travel in on public transport to encourage take-up. Offering secure bicycle storage could make the event even greener as local attendees might drop petrol for pedals. Also make sure the venue does as much as possible to reduce and recycle waste.
3. Local Produce. Supermarkets make a big deal out of using local produce these days. Not only does it help support local economies but it also reduces the amount of food miles, and hence petrol consumption. Use a local company for catering, and ideally one that uses local produce too; a double win for your green credentials.
4. Recycle. Make sure that there are recycling bins provided around the conference site so that attendees can easily recycle paper, napkins, plastic cups etc. If you can try and use proper cutlery and crockery to reduce waste and recyclable disposables when that isn’t an option.
5. Local Expertise. Find out if there are potential speakers and experts in the local area. This will keep flights and car journeys to a minimum. If possible encourage them to attend via public transport if that is practical.
6. Digital Information. See if hand-outs for talks and lectures can be provided on discs, flash drives or as a download instead of as print outs. A lot of people have smart phones or tablet computers with them that can connect to wi-fi and will be happy to use them to download materials.
If you keep these points in mind and also let participants know that the event has a green agenda it should keep it at the forefront of people’s minds. This will help encourage green behaviour throughout the duration, and result in positive word-of-mouth for your event.
This article was provided by event management company Banks Sadler.