As the momentum around sustainability continues to grows, the Northwest Event Show is taking the time to think about the impacts our show but also the Event Industry as a whole has on the environment. There are so many incredible ideas and new things happening in regards to event sustainability that we are striving to be better and hope we can inspire you to do so as well.
Did you know that the average person produces 1.89KG of waste at a conference according to meetgreen.com? Which means if we have 4,000 people on the NWES showroom floor that would be roughly 7,560KGs of waste created in one day. That’s a lot of waste! If every person that walks through the showroom door, whether it be a producer, exhibitor or attendee, made even small changes, those small changes could make a huge difference to reducing that number and more importantly lessen our impact to our planet.
In honor of Earth Day, we have compiled some easy changes to make the world a little greener. A strategy is key- You won’t be able to track or make tangible progress on a more sustainable event without knowing some places that can strategically become environmentally friendlier. It is important to note that it only takes one person within your team or company to make a small yet overwhelming positive change. When planning for an event there are swaps that can be made with ease if one person takes charge otherwise what has always been done will continue to be done. Imagine the incredible impact that can be made if everyone makes small or better yet big changes!
· Setting up recycling (maybe even compost in cities where this is an option) can cut down on what ends up being trash and sent to a landfill.
· Decide when planning for an event if you will only hand out an extra goody to your VIPs, strong leads or another pre-selected group to ensure the items passed out have value for both you and your clients. As an attendee, only take what you will use.
· Embrace digital content- planning for an event can produce a lot of extra handouts, reminders and much more.
· Handing out business cards can be an excellent tool however gathering information via QR codes can also be a very effective way to gather potential clients information and produces no waste.
· Think outside the box. Use recycled or up-cycled materials to create a display or booth that can incorporate reusable key elements for the next booth or another project altogether.
· Focus your booth on the attendee experience rather than what you can give them.
· Choose to host in a LEED certified building to host your events or hold your guests that may be flying in.
· When you and your team are going to events, coordinate a carpool, take the bus or the train if it is accessible. This year Butler Seattle is planning to provide eco-friendly transportation by offering a shuttle service from key locations in Seattle and surrounding areas to and from the NWES.
Thinking green does not have to be an overwhelming thing that feels like a stumbling block when creating fabulous booths or incredible events. Inspiration is essential in our industry so we would love to hear how you have made changes to be more sustainable. Please comment below with changes made within your business, for an event or to tell us about a new eco-friendly product you love. Every event that is ‘green’ leads to more green events and less waste in years to come. We have the chance to gently shift our clients and our community toward a greener, cleaner, future.