10 Ways to Green Your Next Meeting or Event
Apr 16, 2012 by DeDe Mulligan

earth day

With Earth Day approaching in a few weeks, many event planners are thinking of ways to green their meetings without breaking the budget. American Express recently polled meeting planners and suppliers and found that 53% of the planners polled are coordinating local meetings which will reduce their carbon footprint, 47% have green requests or requirements for their meetings, and 73% indicated their organizations are showing an increasing interest in green measures

Below are some simple tips to help make your next event more environmentally friendly:

  1. Eliminate direct mail and printed promotional pieces. Redirect the dollars that were going to be spent  for print toward an email marketing campaign, blogging, and social media. If you don't have the time to do it yourself, hire someone to create a content calendar and provide the buzz about your event. 
  2. Drop print advertising.  Shift those dollars to a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign for your event. PPC is an effective and measurable tool that can be aimed directly to your attendee demographics. In addition, it is cost-effective because you only pay for the clicks that actually occur. 
  3. Eliminate paper registration. Manage attendee registration process through online booking engines, such as Cvent, Eventbrite, or Constant Contact. 
  4. Provide alternate transportation options. Encourage attendees to compare the cost of a flight, train, bus (such as Megabus), or subway. If it makes sense, coordinate carpooling to the event. 
  5. Don't buy AV equipment. Renting Audio Visual equipment makes a lot of sense because that equipment can be used over and over again and when sourced through a local supplier, it can save you a lot of money on shipping. 
  6. Provide session video recordings online. If attendees want to review a speaker after the session, provide a URL link or upload the presentation to YouTube. No jump drives or DVDs mean no shipping costs, no materials to be purchased, and most importantly, no hassle. 
  7. Rent Tablet PCs to replace printed programs, guides, and speaker handouts. You immediately eliminate printing, paper, shipping, assembly, and distribution costs. In addition, mobile applications can include the following: 
  • All session videos
  • Searchable database 
  • Speaker presentations
  • Notes
  • Online list of attendees
  • Sponsorship information
  • Exhibitor information
  • Trade show layout with GPS system
  1. Incorporate gaming options to bring home the green message. At Eventcamp Vancouver and GMIC games were played to resonate the sustainability message with attendees. 
  2. Nix paper surveys. By introducing Audience Response System rentals to attendees, you can entirely eliminate paper, responses are calculated instantly, anonymously, and can be reviewed on the spot and after the event. 
  3. Look hard at food and beverage options. Here are some simple ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle:
  • Reduce the use of paper products. Use china, glass, and silverware. 
  • Arrange for all left over food and beverages to be transported to a local food kitchen.
  • Set up recycling stations and encourage attendees to recycle bottles and cans.
  • Eliminate bottled water, use ice and pitchers. 
  • Ask that the local farmer's market be used as a food source.  

AV Event Solutions, a California event equipment supplier, is available to help you make your next meeting green! Give them a call today to learn more about their technology tool options.  

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