Event sustainability is one issue that has gained prominence over the years. Let’s not sugarcoat this. Physical events, more often than ever, leave an unimaginably large carbon footprint. Ranging from emissions from travel to energy consumption and massive waste generation, physical events do strike phenomenal adversities to our environment.
In fact, according to research by MeetGreen and Event Manager blog, in a 3-day physical event with an attendee count of thousands of people, an average of 5,670 kg of waste is generated. This whopping number is equivalent to the weight of 4 compact cars. Furthermore, it is also responsible for producing almost 530 metric tons of CO2.
However, it took a pandemic for us to zero down that the resilience and sustainability of an event are entirely dependent on each one of its stakeholders and their choices.
With the bans being lifted on travel in many countries, stringent social distancing measures and sanitation standards need to be implemented. This means you have a larger rate of impact per person. This has created an urge in many event planners to bring about the much-need vital change in the traditional events landscape.
As cumbersome as it may seem, we come bearing good news. At Wiz365, our experts have curated a list of ideas that you can follow to drastically minimize the negative environmental impact of your event while creating a sustainable community.
Owing to the pandemic, it is now an understatement to say that virtual events have garnered the limelight by catalyzing their widespread adoption. It is now seen as the major alternative to physical events. So, hosting an event virtually or even a hybrid model is more viable and sustainable than having all your attendees turn up at a single venue.
There are two ways that you can follow to set this up: You can either have a single event with both virtual and in-person components or alternatively, you can create regional event clusters that can act as hybrid event hubs.
In both scenarios, a hybrid event solutions software can come in handy for keeping both event components interconnected.
Furthermore, adopting cutting-edge event technology such as tailor-made software to cater to your needs, it makes you the environmental wizard. Wondering how? A software/app negates the use of paper, which is one of the most adverse non-environment-friendly elements in the event world.
You can pull off a paperless policy by digitizing various tasks that would otherwise require paper:
- Set up virtual registrations and follow-ups
- Say goodbye to physical event invites and switch to e-invites.
- Create virtual tickets that can be scanned off a participant’s phone instead of a physical badge.
- Make provisions for an interactive online schedule of the events’ sessions instead of physical handouts.
- Utilize your event feed of the hybrid event platform to share general documents such as maps, travel and lodging info, etc.
- Engage your attendees with push notifications and SMS updates to communicate event updates and notify them of any last minute changes.
- Facilitate exchanges of e-business cards within your app so you can forgo the paper-based ones.
- Offer all your resources digitally - right from your e-books to coupons and gift cards
- Offer digital visibility to your sponsors rather than the more expensive outdoor advertising
Related: Know how you can bag your next virtual event sponsorship
Double-check your physical venues for sustainability
Although you can attain a considerable amount of your sustainability goal through the virtual component of your hybrid event, you can also implement the same to your physical component as well.
In order to further your quest to attain carbon neutrality, you must go the extra mile to ensure that your venue also shares the same interest as you. Checking the venue’s certification for ISO 20121 or LEED or EMAS could be a start.
Along with the certifications, an even more important aspect is the venue’s infrastructure. Hunt for venues that have sustainable architecture, which includes solar panel installations, green roofs, water conservation fixtures, energy-efficient lighting appliances, robust heating, cooling and ventilation systems among many others.
Research thoroughly before you zero down on your venue. See if they have additional features like say, a designated recycling programme or an electronic signage system that reduces the need for flyers.
The key here is to pick a venue that shares the same common interest towards sustainability as you and coexist together to host a truly carbon-neutral event.
Decarbonize transportation and accommodation
Travel is undeniably the largest contributor to your event’s carbon footprint. Statistically speaking, almost 80% of the carbon footprint can be associated with your event-related travel, especially when you are bringing in attendees from different locations.
One way that you can adopt to reduce this impact is to pick a centrally located venue that is easily accessible by public transport and walkable routes. You can also go a notch further by providing a detailed map consisting of bus and train routes with your attendees. For this, you can safely bank on your hybrid event solutions software to disseminate information to your attendees.
Alternatively, you can also incentivize car-pooling or offer shuttle service to further reduce your contribution to CO2 emissions. Furthermore, you can also opt to work in sync with a national policy that promotes the adoption of electric/zero-emission vehicles, especially for airport transfers.
The events industry has definitely faced a transformational paradigm shift with the advent of covid-19. And really, there are thousands of creative ways to demonstrate your digital superiority and project yourself as an eco-conscious brand.
Know how Wiz365 can help you achieve your event’s sustainability goals.