Still somewhat overlooked the sustainability model can be a very strong ally in the struggle between brave professionals of the event industry and the mischievous event costs. While in the past ten years the industry has shown steady if unspectacular growth, event planners have had to deal with increasingly tighter budgets, a challenge presented by a global economy that is slowly and still rather shakily getting back on its feet. Faced with such budget and funding limitations is when meeting professionals have to make smart choices and where sustainability practices, a process that aims to ensure an environmentally responsible approach to organising an event, can be the deciding factor between getting a standing ovation and getting the golf clap treatment.
With the right approach and careful planning sustainability can and likely will save you money, whether it’s a short-term solution you are looking for, or one that can be cost-effective in the long run. And the best part here is oftentimes “going green” is easier compared to sticking with the not-so-green solutions. Here are 3 simple ideas that will warm you up to this line of thought:1. Think globally, act locally - going green can sometimes be as easy as choosing a venue for the event that is accessible via public transport and providing detailed information about transportation in the area with your invitations. This helps reduce the environmental footprint of the event and has the potential to save you money. Considering speakers and performers who are local to the area can also yield some positive results for the shrunken budget and both of these options should come at no additional cost which makes them that much more attractive.2. Sometimes less is more - another thing worth looking into, that also doesn’t come at an increased cost and helps reduce the ecological footprint, is choosing tap instead of bottled water, or even avoiding containers altogether if possible. Larger events are particularly guilty of producing mountains of waste from empty bottles and cans alone, not to mention sugar packs and little cream containers. That is why for best results this can be paired with a long-term investment in reusable cups, tablecloths, utensils, etc., you end up with a tremendous budget-friendly solution, which also happens to be environmentally conscious.3. Reduce, reuse, recycle - Again the potential here for money savings should not be underestimated. Materials used for printing and expensive advertising usually amounts to huge expenses and tons of waste before, during, and after every event. And while some recent developments in the digital field point to a future where the need for paper can be greatly reduced, until such blissful times are upon us the reduce, reuse, recycle principle should be modus operandi for pretty much every event planner.
Although the events industry is far from being one of the heavyweights in waste production, it is still a responsible party. Sustainability practices are a powerful tool that can provide money savings and return on investment, on top of other big benefits such as better social stature, positive company image, environmental improvement, and general feel-good from knowing you have both done the right thing for your business and made a positive impact at the same time. Exploring the sustainable model and its practices is the first step to a smarter approach to event management and it is our responsibility to make that first step, which they say is usually the hardest part.