The work of curating a green meeting starts before the venue is selected. Send out a pre-planning survey to past attendees to gauge how far they're willing to travel, and where they live. The information gleaned from this survey can be used to narrow down a destination and venue, one that makes sense for the majority of your participants to attend. This can cut down on travel mileage and hopefully keep airplane travel to a minimum for your conference.
Make it Useful
Deciding whether or not to give out conference swag to participants can be a tough decision for meeting planners. If you do opt to give something out to attendees, choose useful items like branded water bottles, travel mugs, or reusable cloth bags instead of something that will be tossed away at home, or even before participants leave the venue. Another option is to take the money that you would've spent on swag and donate it to an environmental organization that is local to your venue. Make sure to market this on your social media so that participants can feel good about not receiving any freebies during the event.
The Perfect Platform
Event platform apps like Socio, EventMobi, and Whova have transformed the way event organizers communicate with attendees, before, during and after the conference. With the ability to streamline information in one place, there is less of a paper trail than in the past - schedules, wayfinding maps, speaker bios, etc. Everything that your attendees need to know about your conference can ideally be found with a few swipes on a phone or tablet.
When it comes time to select a venue, see what green initiatives potential sites have in place. Consult the venue's website and ask questions, from everything to what cleaning products are used, to lighting, and recycling programs. At The Otesaga, we have a number of green initiatives in place, including composting of pre and post consumer food waste, recycling of glass, paper, metal, and plastic throughout the resort, and more. Contact our sales team to discover how your next meeting can have a positive impact on the environment.