Creating Sustainable Events: 10 Must-Know Tips To Make A Positive Impact

11th May, 2022

Follow 10 essential tips from Felicia Asiedu, senior marketing manager at Cvent Europe, to foster sustainable meetings and events.

Event and meeting professionals are focused on delivering greener events in 2022 and beyond. The ICE 2021 Annual Benchmarking Research Report (sponsored by Cvent) found that ensuring the sustainability of events has risen to become the key challenge organisers are looking to tackle between now and 2024. This objective was shared by 77% of the respondents and sat ahead of ‘the ability to deliver hybrid events’ (73%). 

It’s not just organisers that have their eye on eco-friendly events. A PromoLeaf 2020 survey (conducted by Censuswide) found that 85% of event attendees prefer or strongly prefer attending conferences with sustainable practices. 

So, with sustainable events a firm fixture in the industry here are a few must-know tips you can use to create greener meetings and events:

1) Have sustainability requirements in RFPs: 

Detailing your sustainability preferences within the RFP will make it clear to suppliers that this is a priority for your event and those companies not supporting these practices could therefore miss out on your RFP.

2) Incorporate virtual (and hybrid) into your overall event programme strategy: 

The virtual component of events is here to stay and offers the opportunity to widen and increase attendance while simultaneously reducing your overall carbon footprint including flight emissions, ground transportation and food production. Think of this as an opportunity within your overall development strategy. 

3) Source green venues: 

Utilise digital venue sourcing tools to search and filter venues with green policies and initiatives. Look for certifications including: ISO 20121, ISO 14001, LEED and Certified B Corporations. 

4) Connect attendees to eco-friendly transportation: 

Provide attendees with detailed info on public transport options and connect them wherever possible to shuttle services, hybrid or electric cars. Also think about promoting carpooling which can be supported by various apps.

5) Prioritise vegetarian/vegan menus:

Herbivore menus are a great way to decrease your event’s carbon footprint, due to the associated environmental impact of meat production.

6) Minimise single-use plastics: 

Check with venues and suppliers that products are recyclable or compostable. You can also opt for biodegradable plastics; made from renewable raw materials such as starch, orange peels and plants - these break down easily by naturally occurring bacteria. 

7) Go paperless:

Make the shift to digital and eliminate the need for printed collateral. A mobile event app and an end-to-end event software platform can help you digitise various aspects of the event from schedules to business cards, information kits and brochures.  

8) Give eco-friendly swag:

If your event strategy includes “gifts” consider how to make them environmentally conscious including the use of recycled notebooks, plants/seeds and reusable tote bags. Online digital bags are also a new trend.

9) Highlight your sustainable efforts:

Encourage attendee participation in your sustainability goals by letting them know what you are implementing and the positive impact of your actions, sharing best practice too. 

10) Track and measure the event’s carbon footprint:

Event specific carbon calculator apps will help you understand how much your event is contributing to carbon emissions, and with this data you can take actions to mitigate the impact.

Six Top Tips to Level-Up Your Webinars in 2022

Other Articles

About Us

Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.