From brown to green: Change the environmental color of your meetings with these real-world tips.
Best practices on implementing sustainability concepts into your events or meetings.
it’s important to look at everyone involved in a show — from the convention center staff, general contractor, security providers and caterers to the exhibitors, attendees and AV providers — as sustainability stakeholders.
Companies traditionally replace exhibit booths every five years, but that isn’t necessary or wise.
Next to construction, meetings create more waste than any other U.S. industry. Planners can drive change.
Planning meetings outside your home country presents a whole set of different challenges than you’re used to. It’s wise to get an early start on learning basic guidelines.
In the midst of this holiday season, you may have the color green on your mind. But we’re not talking Christmas trees or dollar bills here, we’re talking about green meetings. And that’s a green that’s good all year long.
The spider’s ability to maintain balance is something to which any sustainability devotee should aspire.
By 2025 there will be an estimated 9 billion people on the planet. All will be consumers of goods, energy, food and resources.
Is it feasible to expect a U.S. show to meet the same sustainability level as Germany? A case study.
At the end of the day it’s about the story, and the Method story is remarkable. Truly one of the best keynotes that I have been fortunate enough to attend. It created a spark that will fuel me for a long, long time.
Green meetings challenge the business model of consumption by looking at how we manage and consume resources, and much more.
These 18 minimum requirements should be achievable at almost any event.
We need action more than words at this point.
Greenwashing is the practice of “advertising positive environmental practices while acting in the opposite way.” It is bad.
It’s surprising how much green-meetings standards relate to everyday life. Here are some examples.
Steps small and large can help historic hotels be eco-friendly. St. Simons’ King and Prince and Atlanta’s Georgian Terrace are two examples.
“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” — George Bernard Shaw Conference organizers […]
This year’s Sustainable Meetings Conference convened in Montreal on April 22-25. Part 2 of our report considers “gamification,” the “blink” concept and weavers.
The annual Sustainable Meetings Conference, organized by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), convened in Montreal this year on April 22-25. Read Part 1 of our report.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the biggest corporate buzz words of the past few years. But it’s one of those things that needs decoding to be effective. We hear about carbon footprints, LEED certification, and Energy Star standards, and while they are all important programs that keep corporations on their toes, what does […]
Bringing you “Motivation for Innovation,” the 2011 PYM Annual is designed to help you navigate new technologies, find solutions for current challenges and, hopefully, inspire you to create something big, bright, beautiful and business-friendly at your next meeting or event. But, like everything we do here at Plan Your Meetings, this was a group effort. […]
Three years ago, the groups who brought you the CMP (the Convention Industry Council), the Clean Air Act (the Environmental Protection Agency) and standards for what kind of metals are safe to build rail roads (ASTM International) joined with the Green Meeting Industry Council to begin work on the APEX Green Meeting Standards. The APEX […]
On Sunday, Feb. 20, green industry leaders, practitioners and those interested in green event practices descended on a destination that lives and breathes sustainability: Portland, Ore. The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) chose one of the most sustainable destinations available in the United States. I got off the plane, picked up my bags and walked […]
As I travel to different trade shows and conferences speaking on “Green Initiatives,” I am both proud and disappointed by much of what is happening. Yes, all of the exposure and emphasis that has been put on being more socially responsible and sustainable is sinking in. And, much progress is being made to better our […]
Incorporating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) into your meetings and events is how you move beyond greening your function and start making your program affect the sustainability of the company, the community and planet. A CSR program allows your event program, and by association your client or company, to leave a legacy in the host community. […]
We are all aware of how much emphasis has been put on being more eco-friendly. As a kid, I heard about ecology. Now, I hear about “greener meetings,” and sustainable practices are much more at the forefront of our industry. You may want to do your part, but not know how to even begin to […]
I started my career in green events through attendee engagement. I was working on a martini festival in a county with a sheriff infamous for denying event permits for events with alcohol. As event organizers, we had concerns over the liability of promoting a drinking event and the potential risk of drunk drivers. Knowing that […]
What fun is going green if you can’t look great while doing it? Design makes its way into every type of event, whether it is the professional aesthetic of a corporate meeting or elaborate creations for high-end weddings. Adding eco-friendly practices to creating event ambiance is much like greening other aspects of your events. Start […]
Discussions about green communications are a hot and large topic. It opens up subjects such as social media, phone apps, attendee interaction and ability to track ROI. Meeting planners are always challenged to keep one step ahead in wowing attendees with the latest transfers of information or even just finding the most efficient ways to […]
Aside from food waste, decorations and promotional event items are among the most common products to end up in the trash after an event. However, with a bit of forethought, you can save these valuable items from landfill by donating them to nonprofit organizations. During the early stages of planning your meeting, start to look […]
I am currently working on a meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. — a destination where nearly all my attendees will be either flying or driving in for the event. Once they land, they will need transportation from the airport (and back again), to an offsite group trip, as well as options for exploring the city […]
As meetings incorporate more and more green programs, the most delicious way to accomplish your eco-event goals and educate your attendees about your actions is through food and beverage. Below are tips to work with your caterers to provide green food to reward your attendees during their long meeting days. Local When building your menu, […]
By now, most of you have seen the “Top 10 best green practices for meeting planners.” We know plastic bottles are bad, compostable or recyclable disposables are good, china is better, and to never, ever use styrofoam. However, after finally wrapping our heads around what we need to produce a sustainable meeting, we are now […]
Sometimes just doing a good job isn’t good enough. If there’s one lesson meeting planners have learned in recent years, it’s that putting together a meeting or an event can have a positive or negative impact on the client’s organization, its employees and the surrounding community. By staying focused on designing the meeting to achieve […]
It may seem pretty obvious that I plan on attending the Green Meeting Industry Council’s (GMIC) upcoming Sustainable Meetings Conference. After all, it is being hosted at the Colorado Convention Center (the facility at which I hold the position of Sustainable Programs Manager) and the host chapter is GMIC-Colorado (of which I am President). However, […]
For many planners, one of the biggest hesitations to begin implementing green practices is not cost or desire, it is the fear of not doing enough, thereby not being considered green … but a greenwasher! What exactly is greenwashing? Wikipedia defines greenwashing as: “the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally […]
Recently, I began a keynote presentation at PYM LIVE in Atlanta by quoting from the book “Everything I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Sad, but relatively true, especially the concept of leaving things as you found them. “Greening” or sustainability is not really difficult to grasp. Plan for the future, because whether […]
A first step for many planners when they decide to implement sustainable practices is to develop a waste management plan. This is a logical start because not only is it highly visible, but waste is an area in which we have the greatest amount of influence. However, where and how to begin, and in what […]
The industry has been abuzz with talks about the soon to be released APEX Green Meetings and Events Practice Standards. During the months of August and September, several City Discussion Groups were held to discuss the nine standards of meeting sustainably. The standards are a response to a much needed demand for consistency within the industry as to what constitutes a “green meeting.” The standards also act as a roadmap for planners and suppliers who wish to implement sustainable practices, but do not know where to begin…
One of the most crucial, yet overlooked components of a successful sustainable program is development of a Staff Policy. This policy encompasses training and education programs, management and philosophy. Regardless of infrastructure and good intention, a sustainable program lacking strong policy and support will never succeed. The reason being, not only does an official staff […]
I write this article while in Salt Lake City attending a meeting regarding the APEX/CIC Green Meeting Standards currently being developed. For those unfamiliar with the standards, they are a consensus based and being created to help planners, suppliers, and vendors implement sustainable practices within their events. The standards are a response to an industry […]
In our final interview with green meeting industry leaders, we talk with Rachel Benedick, vice president of sales and services for Visit Denver, the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). CVBs are often the first contact planners have when choosing a site for their meeting or event. In recent years, because of the increase in requests […]
On average, events and meetings produce 20 pounds of waste per person, per day. Those same attendees produce an average of five pounds of waste each day they’re at home. If every meeting planner made an effort to reduce the waste produced during their meetings or events, it could make a huge difference.
Every month I interview leaders within the various sectors in the meetings and events industry, focusing on the steps they are taking towards implementing sustainable practices. This month, I talk with Tim Stein, the director of operations for Levy Restaurants, the food and beverage contractor for Denver’s Pepsi Center.
The first time your boss says, “I want a green meeting,” it can be stressful, especially if you’ve never thought about how your events impact the environment. Here are five simple ways you can green your meetings and events. 1. Do an eco-audit Ask building or facilities managers to keep track of how much energy […]
In last month’s article we heard from meeting and events planner, Jaime Nack, regarding ways planners can implement sustainable practices. This month, we are asking the same questions of the hotel industry. :: Scott Morgan, Director of National Group Sales Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group, LLC 11-year hospitality industry veteran 5 years’ experience implementing sustainable […]
While sustainable practices are increasing in popularity and implementation throughout our industry, there are still some basic questions planners have about how to get started and where to go from there. Over the next few months, this column will feature interviews with pioneers of sustainability within the meetings industry. We hope their stories will inform […]
What a year we experienced with 2008! We saw the greenest Democratic National Convention in history produced in Denver, witnessed the Summer Olympics in China, elected a new president and, unfortunately witnessed the deconstruction of our financial industry. Within the meetings and events industry, we also began to experience a shift in how we conduct […]
Congratulations, you have committed to planning your meetings and events in a more sustainable way! You have gained support from your executives and board members, and communicated your goals and expectations with vendors and attendees, implementing sustainable practices. What is next you may ask? Metrics! Metrics are the method of measuring an event’s impact on […]
In my last column, we discussed different ways and benefits of obtaining a commitment to meeting green from association and company executives. This commitment is a necessary first step in order to get the support that is often needed to incorporate change into the way your meetings are planned. Once this is established by executives […]
As meeting professionals, we are aware of the current focus on green meetings. Many of us are beginning to take the preliminary actions to go green, but we’re hitting roadblocks when attempting more advanced practices. Roadblocks may come in the form of lack of company funds, internal unwillingness to change behavior or resistance from vendors, […]
The meetings industry is changing, and some may say not a moment too soon. Being the second most wasteful industry (behind the construction industry), any opportunity we have to reduce our impact on the environment is significant. While many of us are aware that action and change is necessary, we may not know where to […]
“We have the second most wasteful industry (behind the construction industry),” said Lindsay Smith, the sustainability program administrator for the Colorado Convention Center. “Therefore, we can make a big impact with little change.”
Some of the baby steps meeting professionals can take towards sustainability include: converting to digital rather than paper-based communications for invitations, registration, handouts and surveys; replacing bottled water with water-filling stations and reusable cups …