Greener eventing has been one of the major trends we’ve picked up on in 2018, and we understand it’s significance: being conscious of your impact on the environment is important and is something close to our hearts. Even though it might not necessarily be your cheapest choice when it comes to budgeting, we think that conscious eventing is imperative and is going to become more and more important into the future, which is why we’ve put together some of the tactics we use to make our events greener, just for you.
How to make your next event ‘green’
1. Define Your Reasons for Hosting a Greener Event
As with all other events, it’s important to begin with a clear strategy in mind. Identify the purpose of a green event for your client, their audience, and for you as the event planner. Once you identify exactly why you’re going green, integrate this into your communication plan. Going green will always bring about good PR for your client – that is provided that it’s accompanied by a genuine care for the environment and that you actually implement green tactics you need to walk the talk! Make sure you identify early on just how you’ll do that – Market research is important here, but it’s also key to know “how green” you actually want to go. Are you going to limit it to decorations and set up? Or go all out and cater a green menu? The best plans contribute to the environment while also reaching your client’s end goal.
There are more vehicles on South African roads this year than in any other year in history, which isn’t exactly the best news for the environment. That’s why we suggest introducing a more environmentally friendly way of getting to your next event – why not collaborate with your local bike shop to rent out bicycles to your guests for the duration of the event, or how about selecting a venue that your guests might be able to walk to? With a bit of market research and some help from your clients, you can find out the demographics of the guests and select a suitable venue close to them, which they’re bound to appreciate. And when people feel considered, they share their feelings long after the event is done – which will always be powerful in a world driven by word of mouth.
3. Recycling Bins
Green-driven or not, your event should never be without recycling bins. Ensure your bins are labelled accurately and clearly, and if need be you can even explain how they work to your audience so that you make the most out of your greener waste management strategy. You can even brighten up your event by selecting colourful bins or gamifying the recycling experience!
4. Suppliers and Catering
You can decide if you want to influence the greenness of your guests’ experience all the way down to their culinary preference. Communicate to your guests beforehand that you’ll be using catering services that offer a healthy selection of food and drinks but be sure to give them variety. Emphasise to your caterer that you want seasonal and local foods and that you’re looking to cater only for the number of people that will be attending your event – don’t waste! Good green practice also includes steering away from bottled water – instead, opt for water coolers or water jugs on tables and throughout the venue.
5. Paperless Communication Channels
With a little help from technology, you can make your event a lot greener. Send out invites and communicate with your guests using emails or digital platforms like social media. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all great when used the right way, so collaborate with your communications team to figure out the best way to implement your strategy for your online audience. Think of using hashtags and paid sponsorships to drive traffic to your website and social. We suggest using QR codes or apps to share agendas and speaker bios rather than printing a copy for everyone on the day.
Choose a venue that has everything you’ll need onsite, so you don’t have to transport too much to the venue. This way you’ll have less of a negative effect on the environment, and if you have the option of using biodegradable utensils, insist on it! You may have heard that white roofs are more economical because research has shown that they “reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and help cool down the lower parts,” so hunt for a venue with a white roof – plus it’s a bonus that they look good while helping the environment around them.
7. Solar Powered Lighting
High energy usage is pretty much unavoidable at most events, so using solar power is always a great idea. Use LED lights for your event to reduce energy consumption and guarantee a longer lighting lifespan. Not having to replace them often also means that you’ll be cutting costs on having to frequently purchase new ones – win, win!
Partnering with companies that practise green eventing or offer sustainable services and products can also go a long way to creating a greener event. In the long run, you could learn to easily integrate green tactics into your systems and even make them a norm, helping to build your reputation as a leader in your industry with a niche for eco-friendly eventing.
These are our 8 tactics to greener eventing and while you get cracking on these, be sure to come back for more trends that are dominating the events industry. Good luck!