Just as LEED and Passivhaus have strict standards for eco-friendly building practices and energy efficient designs, resulting in forward-thinking structures that comprehensively do less harm to the environment, green meetings or events earn their prestigious distinction in the eyes of the Convention Industry Council (CIC) by considering environmental impact at every step of the event planning and management process.
Event hosts and corporate event planning companies that want to scratch a green itch can commit to whatever level of eco-friendliness they prefer, but in order to claim the title of “green event”, corporate event planning companies must painstakingly minimize waste and behave sustainably on every front. What should you concentrate on if you’re looking for the latest in green meetings and corporate events?
Corporate Event Planning Companies Should Seek Out Eco-friendly Venues
The place to start if you’re on an eco-friendly crusade is by choosing venues, including event sites, hotels, and contributing vendors, that walk a green path. Some implement energy-efficiency and water conservation practices, including the use of renewable energy resources. Some have furniture, flooring, countertops, and more made from recycled or otherwise sustainable materials, or even buildings erected entirely with sustainable materials and practices.
Says Andy McNeill, CEO at AMI, “There’s a growing trend of sustainability within the hospitality industry. You might not find LEED certified buildings that suit your needs for every event, but event management services should always ask about green practices and amenities.”
Once you have your eco-friendly event venue locked in, it’s time to seek out needed vendors offering sustainable services. You’ll almost certainly have to feed guests, which means finding catering services that offer organic and/or locally-sourced food. If you’re providing transportation for guests, look for emission-free options like taxi or shuttle services that offer electric or hybrid vehicles.
Modern corporate event planning companies might already have associations with a slew of eco-conscious vendors, so event hosts should make sure to ask about green options for every service needed. If not, they can surely find suitable options to minimize the environmental impact of the event.
Event Management Services Can Offer Reusable Handouts
Think about everything you provide attendees with during the course of a corporate meeting or event. You might be surprised by how many items could benefit from a sustainable makeover. Why hand out badges and lanyards that will end up in the trash post-event? Instead, opt for reusable name badges that you can collect and use for your next event.
Forget about disposable water bottles. If you’re going to provide bottles anyway, why not add branded, reusable water bottles to every welcome basket? The green motto “reduce, reuse, recycle” should be of paramount importance to your event management services firm, and it can apply to nearly every detail of event planning.
In this digital era, there’s hardly a need to send out paper invitations, print up information packets, or utilize paper for any part of the event. Everything can be moved into virtual space, including registration and check-in, itineraries and event maps, and follow-up surveys. A creative event management services team like the professionals at American Meetings, Inc. (AMI) can offer the tools and techniques needed to ensure an eco-friendly event on every level, including the necessary sharing of information between event hosts and attendees.