The events industry is constantly evolving and adapting to the surrounding world. This past year we saw drastic changes due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, where the industry had to create event solutions to work around the health concerns of these trying times. As we continue to adapt and find new ways of creating everlasting events, one topic seems to be becoming more critical to event attendees and planners: the sustainability of events and how we can lower our carbon footprint. At Debonair, we always want to provide you with professional insight into our world, so we have captured three of the most important factors that can help create sustainability in your event. 

Use Hybrid and Virtual Events

The popularity of virtual and hybrid event types has seen an increase in usage over the pandemic due to their reduced physical interactions amongst attendees. These will continue to be a positive alternative for planners, a huge plus to these types of events is improved sustainability. Firstly, for all in-person events, attendees must all travel to this location one way or another. It may be a car ride down the street or a plane ticket from around the world. No matter the case, this creates travel emissions impacting the environment. When a hybrid or virtual event is decided as an alternative, attendees can either reduce or eliminate these emissions. On top of this, with fewer in-person attendees, human waste is either cut in half or completely removed from the equation. Food containers, water bottles and other waste that is created at events are gone. Throughout the pandemic, this was heavily identified due to the complete elimination of in-person events. It is important to note, if having home deliveries as a part of a virtual event to use locally sourced companies and products, products packaged in sustainable or recyclable materials and to ensure your delivery items are desired by attendees to ensure items do not end up in landfills. This triggered the conclusion that these event types are more environmentally friendly.

Use of Technology to Reduce Waste 

The events industry can use technology to its advantage, especially when creating sustainable experiences for attendees. One significant opportunity that technology can be used is by removing the need for paper, physical forms, sign-ins or pamphlets. These can be replaced by interactive tablets, digital guest lists and QR codes to help attendees receive content. Technology can also be used to reduce food waste at events. Via email, food preferences and food needs could be determined by the attendees before the event. Working with sustainable caterers that also use digital means to reduce waste is also a great way to improve sustainability. Technology is the ultimate resource for creating an environmentally friendly event. This trend will continue to grow as technology advances, so it must play an essential role in the event management process. 

Green Location

For in-person or hybrid events, finding the perfect location is one of the most critical parts of the planning process. Through planning, event companies can research and identify locations that use clean energy solutions instead of fossil fuels. For example, the company ‘CDP’ lists all cities globally that report over 70% of clean energy use. Tools like this are a great way to help find locations when planning your next large in-person or hybrid event. Locations of events tend to be an overlooked factor when trying to make events more sustainable, when in fact, a location can be one of the most significant roles in whether an event is sustainable or not. It is important to ask vendors how they support environmental initiatives and what their protocol is when it comes to waste and recycling.

Overall, sustainability has become a significant factor in the events industry. As a result, the need and want for sustainable events have continued to increase. As we move forward, this will only continue to grow as it is a pressing issue on the minds of many. Whether it’s using alternative event types like virtual or hybrid, creating experiences through technology and minimizing paper waste, or finding a green location, there will always be a continued need to create an environmentally friendly event. At Debonair, we’re always here to help you create a sustainable experience. 

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