5 ways to make your event more eco-friendly

Tue 1 Dec 2020

With a million other responsibilities, ensuring that a big event is environmentally sustainable might seem like one more thing on an already packed to-do list. But with careful planning and a few key changes, managing a green event is easily achievable. Running a green event not only benefits the environment and local community – it will also boost your client’s reputation as a socially responsible business. Here’s how to make your event more environmentally-friendly in a few simple steps.

  1. Go paperless

Thanks to numerous event apps, going paperless is easy. Instead of physical invitations, opt for digital invites that attendees can respond to online. Set up a paperless registration process using an event management app (such as Whova or EventMobi), and have attendees download tickets with QR codes to their mobile phones. If you are organising a conference, you can create a mobile-optimised event website including all the information that would typically be handed out at the door (such as schedule, attendee list, and information about speakers and sponsors). Incentivise attendees to embrace paperless changes, for example by offering priority parking or priority entry to those who use digital tickets.

  1. Recycle

Having a clearly labelled recycling scheme is vital for a green event. Make sure there are enough bins placed around the venue for attendees to use, including compostable bins for food waste. You can minimise the amount of waste generated if you avoid selling bottles of water – instead, provide glasses and jugs of water for a small event, or reusable branded cups at larger events that users can borrow for a refundable deposit. Encouraging attendees to bring their own water bottles in advance helps to reinforce the green message and will cut down on waste.

  1. Choose an accessible location

Ensuring that your event takes place at a centrally located venue with easy access to public transportation and local hotels/restaurants will lower the environmental impact. If this proves difficult, providing dedicated coaches or setting up a carpool scheme can help to lower your carbon footprint. Make sure that you emphasise the most eco-friendly travel method in your communications, and consider incentivising it (for example, free parking if there are no empty seats in the vehicle or a free drink ticket for attendees who walked or cycled to the event).

  1. Use a green venue

If your event is in a city with a large choice of venues, pick one that focuses on sustainability. Many hotels and conference centres offer green initiatives such as towel reuse programs, recycled bottled water, and even worm farms to aid composting of food waste.

  1. Choose local suppliers

Use local contractors for catering, music, power, and beverages to minimise the number of miles driven, and work with suppliers who have similar environmentally-friendly goals. Choosing a menu with seasonal food that isn’t likely to leave a big carbon footprint (for example chicken or pork rather than lamb or beef) can also help make your event more sustainable, and you can donate any leftovers to a charity such as FoodCycle.  

If you are interested in pursuing a career in event management, an MA in Creative Events Management from Falmouth University’s Flexible Learning programmes can help you develop the skills you need to accelerate your career. 

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