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 share content, sponsor information and learning tools to their audience. Some of these tools inherently make a conference greener (less paper/printing, slicker and more power efficient technology) while increasing attendee engagement. Communication can even be included in your promotional materials and how they are printed, manufactured, distributed and disposed of. Wow – this is a huge topic.
I can’t offer a better resource on green A/V than Midori Connolly of Pulse Staging. She writes a rich column for PYM which can be found here.
There are endless and undiscovered solutions for greening your event communications, all of which should be designed and implemented with your goals and objectives in mind. Below is a list of ways to start to think differently about your interactions with your attendees, crew, sponsors and clients:
- Who – Who are your attendees? Does green information improve their experience? Are they tech-savvy? Do they have devices to employ social media tools?
- What – What do you need to deliver to your attendees and crew? Can your information be sent digitally? What channels of communication are available through your budget, venue and attendee use?
- When – When do you ask your vendors about their green products? When do incorporate your green initiatives to your communication plans? I can answer this here: AT THE VERY BEGINNING!
- Where – Where are your products and equipment being made, stored and delivered? Where will it go when your event is finished with them? Can it be reused, repurposed, recycled? If it is stored for reuse, will it look as good as the first time it was used? Can you produce it where you are meeting instead of shipping it to your meeting site?
- How – How is it made? Does the factory have fair-labor practices? Are their harsh chemicals involved? Can better materials be substituted?
The best tip I can give is to always remember not to dilute your meeting with green policies if they don’t apply. As a planner our job is to deliver the best, most professional event to our clients. Green initiatives should not divert from our purpose, just add and improve them.