Thursday, October 30, 2014

Treading Lightly Near the Rim

Leaving Las Vegas for the Grand Canyon, I had a lot of expectations around the vast natural beauty I was soon to explore.  What I didn't expect was a sustainable lodging experience, second-to-none, with an honest concern for treading lightly on the Earth.

My hotel room at the Grand National Park Lodge surprised me with:

Bulk hand soap and a recycled-content, compostable cup
to fill with certified coffee from well-managed sources

and all the amenities I could need in bulk dispensers in the shower.


Now I'm no expert...
Well, maybe I am, but I was very impressed by the "legendary hospitality with a softer footprint" the Xanterra Parks and Resorts property offered during my stay.

Early members of the Green Meeting Industry Council, they have worked hard to provide sustainable accommodations to the 4.5 million people per year who visit the Grand Canyon alone.  Since 2000, they have used:

48.6% less water
17.4% less electricity
40% less construction waste per project and 32% less waste overall.

Over 40% of their food is sustainably sourced and in the first three months of 2014, the mules munched three tons of kitchen scraps such as discarded apples, lettuce, melon rinds and pumpkins.

While not every hotel has mules to feed, every hotel has a responsibility to its guests and to the planet.  Having seen this in action, I will be far more likely to hold hotels to a higher standard of sustainable hospitality.

Note:  As I was happily running about the hotel room taking these photos, my patient husband simply said, "Oh no, I feel a blog post coming on."


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

#Eventprofs Call to Action

When Lindsay Arell accepted the Convention Industry Council Pacesetter Award last week during IMEX America, she challenged the audience of top-level meeting industry professionals to change an industry.  Her passionate plea is essential to our future and for those of you who didn't hear it, I share it with you now.

"I am so incredibly honored to be receiving this award from the Convention Industry Council and my colleagues.

For those  of you who may not know me, my role in our industry for the past 8 years has been to work with planners and suppliers to implement more sustainable best practices in their operation and events.  When I started in this role, these efforts were few and far between.  However, the idea that we could and SHOULD  do things different was beginning to take shape and the conversation was started.  In fact, as I look around the room tonight, some of those early adopters and leaders are here.

One of the reasons I have been so inspired to continue on this path is because the scope of influence that the meeting industry has globally.  When we bring innovation, creativity, and sustainability to our meetings and events, we have the opportunity to touch the lives of thousands of people.  This includes not only the suppliers we work with and our staff, but also the attendees of our events and potentially their friends and family.  If a person experiences sustainability at an event, they may very well bring those practices back to their office and into their daily lives and to their friends, partners and children.  And as we all know, there is a meeting or association for every type of person… meaning our scope of influence is seemingly limitless.

But it all starts here… I truly believe each and every one of us can participate in this movement!  Therefore I am taking this opportunity tonight to appeal to you all with a call to action.  I urge everyone in this room – suppliers and planners – to begin the conversation around sustainability.  Just ask… what can we do differently or expand upon to improve the sustainability of my operation?  Then, take that step.  Even if it is just one… we all need to get on the escalator of change and together we have the power to shift our industry.  Thank you very much!"
- Lindsay Arell, October 12, 2014


Thank you, Lindsay, for your inspired dedication and the call to action.  Let's make her proud!


Friday, October 10, 2014

Leave 'Em Behind


Packing for IMEX America 2014, I pull out all my best "Las Vegas" shoes and fill up a suitcase.

All of this thinking about my feet reminds me of my carbon footprint.

Which reminds me of a fact I learned about last year's IMEX America...



"If every attendee had packed just one less pair of shoes, it would have saved 50,245 lbs. of CO2."  

That's a lot of greenhouse gas.

With this in mind, I parse my shoe wardrobe and pull out these beauties to stay home.  To which, my husband loudly remarked, "You should have left those behind a decade ago."

Headed for Vegas, Baby!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quick Tips on Negotiating Internet Pricing

A few weeks ago, we gave you some quick tips for determining the bandwidth needs for your conference here.  That's not the only thing keeping you up at night though, right?  You also need to know how to best negotiate for those internet services. The costs can certainly be a budget-breaker if you aren't prepared.

Realizing this, Carole Garner, Director of Conference Management, stepped back in front of the camera to share her expertise on negotiating the best deal.




See you on the road!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Essential Information



When Carole Garner joined MeetGreen in 2006, her passion for nature and a love of the outdoors came with her.  As the Director of Conference Management and Leadership Team Member, she soon discovered bringing green to meetings wasn't always easy.  Through her diligent, caring mentoring of both clients and staff alike, she has enrolled them in sustainability initiatives and created change.  She also learned a lot along the way.

During September's Meetings Focus webinar, Green Meetings Essentials, she shared her insight with other professionals who play a role in bringing sustainability to meetings.  Her strategies and observations are vital if you are leading a team to a more sustainable future, one conference at a time.

You can (and should) watch it on demand right here.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Having Nightmares About Event Bandwidth?

Making sure all your attendees stay connected during the event has become your responsibility.  Lack of connectivity is now tantamount to running out of coffee the morning after the big party.  This new task crept into meeting professional's job descriptions catching many unaware and scrambling for information.  We feel your pain.  Our conference team set out to become experts on this issue and after much research, accomplished their goal.

So if you have more questions than answers and need a place to start, I invite you to watch this short video by Carole Garner, Director of Conference Management, MeetGreen.





If you need more help, don't hesitate to contact us at info@meetgreen.com.  See you on the road!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Two (More) Words

In article entitled, "Two Words," recently published in Smart Meetings, Jim Spellos taught us everything we need to know about the tech landscape as it relates to events, in just two words.  I highly recommend reading and adopting his wise words.  He included the words, Sustainable Events, understanding sustainability and technology are inseparably linked in this context. 

One of Jim's favorite projects, the Whole Earth Calculator, was recently endorsed by The White House as part of President Obama's directive on greenhouse gas emissions.  The Whole Earth Calculator converts the total pounds of paper products and plastics that are diverted from landfills into the amount of carbon dioxide that is not produced as a result, and then sends this information to social media. The tool can also be used to convert total pounds of donated food into meal equivalents and carbon dioxide averted equivalents.  Simply brilliant!

Moving forward, the two words, Sustainability and Technology, will remain inseparably linked.  They will provide tools to make meeting professionals lives easier and more environmentally friendly.  In fact, they already have, e.g. online registration, conference apps and hybrid meetings.

Jim Spellos talks about embracing change, because "you really don't have a choice." Certainly this is true for both technology and sustainability.  I would like to add my two words worth, "Start Today," because the future was never brighter for meeting professionals ready to make a change.