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Posted on April 23, 2023

Sustainable Event Planning in 2023: 10 Smart Tips.

Did you know hosting events, particularly in person events, comes with several responsibilities, one being environmentally conscious? As the demand for green and sustainable practices continues to increase, adopting eco-friendly habits while hosting events is crucial. By going green, you not only contribute towards environmental conservation but also make a positive impact on your event attendees. In this blog post, we’ll discuss strategies for sustainable event planning. You will learn how to plan a sustainable event and incorporate them into your in-person events to make them more eco-friendly and sustainable in 2023.

According to research, the events industry generates around 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year, with single-use plastics, food waste, and energy consumption being some of the significant contributors. However, planning a sustainable and eco-friendly event can help reduce this impact significantly. A study by the Events Industry Council found that implementing sustainable practices can result in a 20-30% reduction in costs and a 60-80% reduction in waste. The event industry has reaffirmed its commitment to the cause by submitting an accelerated action plan that aligns with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ready to discover these smart strategies you can implement to plan a successful green event? Keep reading!

Smart Tip #1 for sustainable event planning is to Choose a Sustainable Venue.

sustainable event venue

Picking a sustainable venue is a great way to reduce the environmental impact of your in person events. Consider LEED Certified venues or have implemented sustainable initiatives in the facilities such as using renewable energy, having water efficiency systems, and striving towards zero waste. Opt for venues with solid sustainability credentials. An easy way to validate their credentials is to ask whether the venue has certification for sustainable events like ISO 20121. 

Here are some additional factors to consider when selecting an eco-friendly venue:

  • Conveniently located for accessibility via public transportation.
  • A facility offers ample lodging and meeting space, enabling attendees to stay on-site and eliminating the need for commute.
  • Technologically advanced with electronic signage and automated energy-saving installations.

Smart Tip #2 is to Reduce Plastic Waste.

reduce plastic waste at sustainable event

Plastic is among our planet’s most significant environmental issues. To reduce plastic waste at your in-person event, you can provide refillable water bottles, encourage attendees to bring reusable straws, or use biodegradable plates, cups, and cutlery. 

Offering water refill stations instead of providing bottled water can also significantly reduce waste. Encourage guests to bring their reusable water bottles to your in person events. Implementing these strategies will go a long way in minimizing plastic waste at your event and promoting green living.

Smart Tip #3 is to Use Sustainable Event Marketing Products.

Sustainable event marketing

Sustainable event marketing products, including eco-friendly swag bags, waterproof badges, or recycled lanyards, are a great way to show your commitment to sustainability.

You can also work with vendors who use green manufacturing processes and offer to use only recycled paper for print materials. These actions show your attendees that you value sustainability and are willing to make small but significant changes that positively impact our planet.

Smart Tip #4 is to Choose eco-friendly transportation.

eco-friendly transportation

Transportation is one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions and air pollution. By encouraging eco-friendly transportation options for event attendees, you can reduce the carbon footprint associated with the event. You can encourage guests to:

  • carpool,
  • use public transportation,
  • or ride bikes to the conference or event. 

If attendees are coming from out of town, you can arrange shuttle services that use eco-friendly vehicles such as electric or hybrid buses. The event organizers can also arrange shuttle services for attendees staying at hotels near the event venue. Do some or all of these and watch the carbon footprint associated with transportation reduce significantly.

Smart Tip #5 is to Use recyclable & Eco-friendly swag.

recyclable and eco-friendly swag for sustainable event planning

You can encourage greener habits at your events with eco-friendly swag options. Traditional swag like T-shirts and keychains often get tossed in landfills, leaving behind a hefty carbon footprint in our environment. In their place, consider offering environmentally-friendly gifts that speak to attendees’ ecological values. Check out these sustainable options:

  • Eco-friendly/recycled notebooks and journals
  • Recycled mugs and tumblers
  • Bamboo cutlery 
  • Plants and seed packets
  • Reusable tote bags
  • Recycled backpacks, eco-friendly USBs

Smart Tip #6 is to Educate attendees.

educate attendees about sustainable and eco-friendly practices

Educating your attendees is crucial in promoting eco-friendliness and sustainability. You can use signage, social media, and email to inform attendees about your sustainability efforts and encourage them to participate. You can also organize a sustainability workshop or a panel discussion to create awareness and inspire attendees to adopt sustainable practices daily. One step at a time! 

Smart Tip #7 is Adopt Green Catering Practices.

green catering practices for sustainable event planning

Green catering practices include using local and organic food, reducing meat consumption, and avoiding imported foods. You can compost food waste instead of throwing it away. Reducing waste is a critical approach to help promote sustainability and an eco-friendlier environment in your in-person events.

Encourage attendees to bring their reusable water bottles, cups, and utensils. You can also provide compostable or recyclable packaging for food and drinks instead of single-use plastic items. These practices promote sustainable agriculture and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with food transportation.

Smart Tip #4 for sustainable event planning is Donating Leftover Food.

Food waste is a massive concern, not just a humanitarian one. Food wasted in enormous amounts is sent to landfills, which releases greenhouse gases like methane and is a direct cause of global warming. To avoid wasting food here, you can donate leftover food to a local food bank or shelter. This can reduce waste and help those in need. It’s a win-win!

Smart Tip #9 is Virtual Attendance.

virtual attendance

Sometimes, virtual attendance can be a viable eco-friendly event option. Virtual attendance can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation, as attendees can participate from anywhere in the world. You can set up your virtual event with the help of virtual event management companies like InEvent that offer live streaming or video conferencing services.

Smart Tip #10 is Go Digital.

digital sustainable event

To reduce your carbon footprint, consider replacing paper invitations with digital ones. You can save paper and reduce emissions from mailing by switching to digital invitations.

One of the most often overlooked yet highly recommended green event ideas is leveraging an event management software. By adopting an end-to-end event software platform, you can digitize numerous aspects of your event and avoid using printed flyers, brochures, and schedules, which optimizes your SEO. You will minimize paper usage and conduct the event more efficiently and streamlined, ultimately saving costs and driving ROI. Who doesn’t want to save extra bucks? 

How to leverage an integrated event management software to make your event sustainable.

  • Streamline meeting information using webinars, mobile event apps, and online media kits without incurring the costs of paper alternatives.
  • Creating an event website is a great way to share essential details and updates and showcase speakers and sessions, ultimately reducing paper distribution during the event.
  • Manage last-minute changes at the venue with event registration software.
  • Send the attendees personalized follow-up emails and online surveys instead of a traditional direct mail thank you note. This also provides insights into attendee behavior and expectations and what steps you could take to create better events in the future.

Conclusion.

We all live on Earth & must play our part in caring for our planet. Sustainability and environmental conservation are essential practices for event planners and marketers. By implementing sustainable and eco-friendly practices in your events, you preserve our planet and positively impact attendees’ lives. 

At InEvent, we are very passionate about sustainability and our environment. We hope these strategies inspire you to adopt eco-friendly habits and build more environmentally responsible events in 2023. Let’s continue to work together toward a sustainable future. #EarthDay #Sustainability 

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