As event organizers, we have to focus on return on investment but not only. Sustainability is becoming more and more of a central theme and more and more people are adopting sustainable initiatives in their lives. This will naturally be reflected in what they consume and in their choices. As such, there is a need to adopt sustainable solutions to create sustainable events, because this is the only way to maximize your participation rate and also increase your ROI.
Don’t forget to check out the article choosing an event management platform – checklist that’ll help you make the decision.
What are Sustainable Events?
We can describe a sustainable event as one that is planned and executed taking into account its relationship with negative impacts on the world and its goal of preserving and maintaining the environment while promoting a healthy and inclusive society and supporting the economy.
This means that all the variables that involve the organization of an event will be done based on effective management of resources and minimization of the environmental impact.
It includes reducing waste, conserving energy and resources, promoting environmentally friendly transportation, and supporting local businesses and communities. From the event format, event venue, suppliers, and event technology, to the marketing materials that promote the event, everything matters!
Can Technology Help Create Sustainable Events?
There are mainly two ways in which technology can help create sustainable events:
The first way has to do with event formats. If we used to be dependent on participating in 100% face-to-face events, nowadays this doesn’t happen. Today, we can participate in hybrid or virtual events.
In the case of hybrid events, you can welcome a huge amount of people while distributing them to two different audiences. One in-person and one virtually. This makes the environmental footprint less significant, without jeopardizing a bigger audience.
Another way that technology can help in creating sustainable events is through contactless solutions.
In the past, we relied on pen and paper to confirm that certain attendees had access to the event. Now, technology can help create better events, through electronic contactless devices, we’re able to do so without harming the environment while improving the experience of attendees at events by speeding up the process that usually causes the most frustration – entering the event.
Another way that technology can be used to create sustainable events that you’re probably already familiar with is through the use of QR Codes. Through this contactless solution, you’re able to reduce the number of visual materials on paper or cardboard to display information about the event.
Not only do QR codes have the ability to do this, but also a mobile application for events. By having an event app, you can offer your visitors and exhibitors all the information in one place dedicated to your event. Everything, digitally.
Virtual & Hybrid for Sustainable Events
Virtual and Hybrid events have the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact while also improving accessibility and reducing costs. If you’re looking forward to the hybrid format, read Hybrid Events – 5 Features You Absolutely Need.
By adopting these event formats, event organizers can help create a more sustainable future for the industry. Here’s how:
1. Minimizes carbon footprint
Virtual or Hybrid events can eliminate or reduce the need to travel which can significantly reduce the impact on the environment by cutting down on transportation.
2. Reduces waste
As we all know, in-person events can generate a lot of waste, primarily because event organizers need to print marketing materials and other consumables.
Virtual events can eliminate printed materials because everything is presented in the virtual realm. On the other hand, hybrid events can help reduce waste because a part of the audience will be online.
3. Conserves energy
In-person events often require a huge amount of energy such as electricity for lighting, heating, and cooling. Virtual and hybrid events can cut down some of the energy needed because you won’t have to power up a large venue.
4. Improves accessibility
Sustainability doesn’t revolve only around the environmental aspect, but also around societal issues.
Organizing virtual and hybrid events puts down the barriers for people with disabilities to access the event. If the choice of venue doesn’t have the necessary conditions for them to easily access and enjoy the event, you’ll allow them to join online.
5. Reduces costs
Virtual and hybrid events can reduce monetary costs such as venue rental, transportation for the attendees, and catering. If sustainability is indeed a concern, then event organizers can allocate these savings to more sustainable initiatives.
Sustainable Events: Paperless and Contactless with Event Technology
If you still choose to organize in-person events, some technological solutions allow for a more sustainable approach and they are called contactless solutions. You’ll also have the ability to create a smooth event registration & check-in.
Contactless solutions significantly reduce the need to use paper at events. For example, visitors can check in to the event via a QR code that they receive via email.
When it comes to sharing contacts, visitors and companies no longer have to use paper business cards. This information can be collected via a form in the event management platform and then associated with a card or a smart badge that allows interaction with beamers – a lead capture tool for events. These cards can be used for an infinite amount of time, so they won’t be a waste.
In addition, event organizers will have a personalized event page where visitors can view the event agenda, again reducing the need for printed materials.
Choose Accessible and Green Venus For Sustainable Events
By providing accessible venues, event organizers can make sure that people with disabilities can move around the space safely and comfortably, access all areas of the venue, and use facilities such as restrooms and seating.
Accessibility also benefits many other people who may not identify as having a disability but still benefit from accessible features. For example, elderly individuals, and those with temporary injuries or mobility issues can all benefit from accessibility!
A venue that actively strives to become more sustainable and meets certain sustainability guidelines and benchmarks is considered a green event venue. The first step in identifying a green event venue is to look for sustainability certifications.
If sustainability certifications are not available in your desired event location, it’s important to create a list of sustainable requirements for your venue. These may include using renewable energy sources, implementing the use of reusable or compostable plates and utensils, maximizing natural lighting, and utilizing energy-efficient practices such as motion-controlled light switches.
Use a Digital End-to-End Event Management Platform for Sustainable Events
A digital end-to-end event management platform is a software solution that provides everything you need, such as tools and features to help event organizers plan, execute and manage their events from start to finish.
The benefits of using an event management software are amazing and the features and capabilities help organizers handle all aspects of event management:
1. Registration and Ticketing
The event management platform allows the creation of customizable forms to register attendees or purchase tickets online.
2. Event Planning
Allows the creation of the event program, descriptions for each of the sessions, and the association of an image to each session.
3. Marketing and Communications
The event management platform will allow event organizers to create customizable event pages and communicate with attendees via email marketing tools.
4. Event Engagement
Will provide engagement tools for organizers to make their event more appealing, such as polls, live q&a sessions, gamification, and networking tools.
5. Analytics and Reporting
The event management platform will provide event organizers with real-time analytics and reporting on attendee engagement, ticket sales, and other event metrics. All of this information can be used to help improve decision-making with a data-driven approach. Still, don’t know how to measure the success of your event? Feel free to check 7 Crucial KPIs to Measure Your Event Success.
The right event management platform will allow the integration of other tools and systems, such as CRM software, marketing automation platforms, and payment systems.
With all the emerging issues around climate change, it’s important to adopt strategies that meet attendees’ ideologies. Now that you know what to do when it comes to creating sustainable events, are you ready to make a positive impact on our world?