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Embracing the Evolution of Sustainable Events

Meeting Management • September 5, 2023 • Written by: Sarah Pinkowski

The corporate events and meetings landscape has seen a remarkable transformation over the past few years. From the dominant virtual and hybrid events era, we are now witnessing a resurgence of in-person gatherings. In this dynamic landscape, Etherio continues to evolve and adapt to the changing paradigms.

In today's world, sustainability has transcended being a mere feel-good practice. It has become integral to an organization's Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program. Strong environmental initiatives are no longer just commendable; they are pivotal to achieving long-term competitive success across industries. This imperative is as relevant for for-profit entities as for not-for-profit organizations.

The heightened environmental consciousness of attendees plays a pivotal role in shaping their decisions regarding event participation. The undeniable truth is that large meetings and events bear ecological consequences. A staggering nine out of ten consumers now advocate for standardized sustainability practices from brands. Therefore, fostering an environmentally aware mindset consistent with your company's beliefs and resonates powerfully with your community is vital. 

In the pursuit of intentional event design, many ways exist to invest in our planet's well-being. Here, we present our recommendations for incorporating sustainable habits into your upcoming gatherings:

  • Collaborate with your vendors to source eco-friendly substrates for on-site signage. Contemporary sustainable materials such as paper, wood, and rigid fibers are gaining popularity, minimizing ecological impact.

  • Engage your expo service in a dialogue about reusable expo hall carpeting. This conscious choice reduces carpet waste and underscores your commitment to sustainability.

  • Opt for plated meals to curtail waste and maintain cost control. While often a more economical option, ensure the venue can accommodate plated meals seamlessly.

  • Bid adieu to single-use plastic water bottles. Replace them with water stations featuring paper cups, or encourage attendees to embrace reusable water bottles, which can even be offered as branded options for sponsors.

  • Should plastic bottles be unavoidable, explore the hotel's recycling program or collaborate with them to establish one, mitigating the event's environmental impact.

  • During expo hall load-in and load-out, champion energy conservation by requesting a 50% reduction in lighting intensity.

  • Embrace a paperless approach by integrating QR codes into signage. Your event's app can serve as a repository for everything from agendas to sponsor materials, in tune with the tech-savvy post-pandemic landscape.

  • Beyond advocating ridesharing, inspire your community to partake in carbon offset initiatives for air travel and limo transfers, further amplifying your commitment to sustainability.

The realm of sustainable practices not only resonates with the ethos of Mother Nature but also yields benefits for your fiscal strategy and business endeavors. The avenues to craft a more sustainable event are diverse and in harmony with your corporate ESG aspirations. 

At Etherio, we invite you to explore the boundless potential of sustainable event orchestration in this new era. Let us embark on this transformative journey together.

Ready to Transform your Event's Sustainability?

Sarah Pinkowski

Sarah is a marketing strategist with extensive knowledge in multiple industries, including real estate, SaaS, education, nonprofit development, and corporate events. In her role as a senior marketing manager, she is responsible for overseeing the content marketing strategy for Etherio.