Looking to the Future - Sustainability in Events for 2020
Sustainability is the word of 2020, which means that every business, charity, university or government organisation will be under the spotlight to improve their environmental practices. For most, events play a big part in everyday activities and we’ve taken a look at key changes you can make to become greener in 2020.
Sustainability on a Budget
As an event planner, it’s your role to perfect every event you create. Now you are responsible for making your events more sustainable. This requires you to think outside of the box. How can you begin changing the way you organise your events? What choices can you make to be more sustainable? Before you can make big changes to the way you are organising your events and doing business, you need to make a plan. There are a variety of different areas you can make changes in, from venue locations to catering choices and materials used overall in the event production. In order to know what to change, you need to know your impact. Start with taking a hard look at your events. What environmental impacts can you begin to make more sustainable? Are there ways you can immediately start implementing changes? Marketing to both delegates and exhibitors is key to a successful event. If sustainability is part of your ethos or even better, a part of the agenda, ensure both delegates and exhibitors are aware of this through your communications and ask them to consider their impact.
Below are a few ideas you can focus on to create more sustainable events.
Branded Promotional Merchandise
Sponsorship by the exhibitors is a good way to create an income and then you can look at how you invest this. Giveaways are always a large part of events, usually a bag full of small goodies that often get left behind or discarded after use. When deciding what to include in a giveaway bag, ask yourself; what are the products made of? Would I use this again? Is this something I find useful enough to keep? Often less is more and we would encourage you to select a slightly higher value product which will be kept rather than 4/5 items that might be disregarded. Our top 5 branded gift suggestions are:
Even though the world is turning to technology, the majority of us still favour the reliable, traditional notebook for taking notes. Once you write something down it seems to sink in a little better too! Research shows that 89% would use the notebook they have been given for that specific event/conference, the remaining 11% give them to their family! If you are spreading an eco-message, opt for a notebook made from recycled paper or natural materials. Take a look at our eco notebooks here
Practical, functional and you’ll never be without one again! Powerbanks and charging on the go is increasing in popularity and you can almost guarantee that they will want to be taken home and used by the recipient. Take a look at our range of powerbanks here
Up to 12 months visibility of your brand with ample branding areas to convey information and printed full colour, what more do you need from a promotion product, right? Why not look at our Kraft paper or recycled versions to up your sustainable game. Check out our range of desktop calendars here
In 2019 the reusable drink wear trend exploded in the UK and it hasn’t decreased in popularity as the year has progressed. With coffee shops offering discounts for BYO cups, and single-use plastic ban coming into play, reusable drinkware is a big player in the promotional product industry. Take a look at our reusable drink bottles here
And the Bag Itself
If a sustainable message is your aim, we don’t recommend that your giveaways are then presented in a single-use bag. Keep the eco-friendly vibe going by using a bag made of natural materials such as a cotton shopper or bamboo fibre shopper, you could even go for a recycled PET fabric bag made from recycled plastic bottles. Push your branding further by sharing the story of how the bag is produced and its eco-impact for a truly versatile promotional product. Check out our eco-friendly bags here
Choose your Venue Carefully
The location and transportation at your event can create big opportunities to cut down on your carbon footprint for your delegates. Taking into account both the attendees and your staff, there are multiple ideas you can implement to change and reduce your impact. Firstly, let’s focus on your attendees getting to and from the event. If you are able to host your event and stay in the same hotel that immediately cuts the need for transportation, greatly reducing your events carbon footprint. If there is not the possibility of organising a shuttle service from 2 or 3 main pickup points can greatly reduce the use of cars too. This would reduce your events carbon footprint and also make your attendees experience easier and more enjoyable.
A successful event will consist of speakers who focus on topics relevant to your industry and then also added value speakers who focus on relevant and generic topics. We’re starting to see an increase in speakers who focus on well-being and empowerment as it allows the event to break from structured presentations and workshops.
Reusable drink wear is important especially when hosting large groups. Paper cups are single-use and as much as they can be recycled. There are a whole range of alternatives that you can consider such as glasses, earthenware mugs or reusable bottles or travel cups. Paper plates, straws and coffee stirrers often make an appearance at events, a lot of venues offer single-use solutions for these items however we are encouraging people to consider porcelain plates, metal spoons, and metal straws or bamboo straws.
Starting with something as simple as going paperless is an easy way to make a huge impact. Instead of mailing out invites or updates, create an event page, app or email subscription for your attendees. Not only do these options help you minimise your footprint, they allow you to communicate with your attendees and staff in real-time. Suddenly a last minute change to your event won’t seem so daunting, you can easily distribute the new information immediately to your attendees. You will also save money in the long run because you will never need to reprint thousands of programs when you add a speaker or make a change to the schedule. You most likely already have a website, an email list and are set up on social media platforms so leverage that!
Having your information readily available on your site, blog or social channels makes it easier for your attendees to locate your information. It also allows them to share your updates, event information and connect with others all over the world, building your audience and reach for your events while increasing engagement. Bonus, they will never lose your event information again because it will be on the one item attendees keep with them at all times, their smartphones
With small changes, you too can make your events a sustainable and eco-friendly occasion, setting the bar for your competitors to follow in your footsteps. For more inspirational items on event merchandise please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.