Friday, March 7, 2008

Back to the Future

“These aren’t new practices, they are old,” was one woman’s response at the Green Meeting Industry Council’s Conference. She had been in the industry for over 40 years and when she started…

-all service was on china, disposables were unheard of,
-water wasn’t available in plastic water bottles,
-sheets were changed only once during a week-long stay,
-table scraps were fed to the pigs or composted to use in the garden, and
-fruits, vegetables and herbs for guest meals came from the hotel garden.

Currently, she is struggling to bring her property back to where she began.
An interesting perspective from someone with a long history in the meetings industry.

Speaking of the GMIC Conference, the first presentation slides have been uploaded to As additional presentations are received from speakers, they will be placed here as well.


HLSdt said...

GREAT post. Very true. I would add these thoughts:

It seems like a lot of this question, at least in our business, revolves around aesthetics. Much of where the industry has found itself involves the aesthetics of comfort, theme, audience engagement, and of course the marketing message. How we get to these results, of course, has brought with it many technologies that we now question as we attempt to green our events.

I can speak most passionately about my industry, which is event lighting. An entire language about the "look" of event lighting has evolved over the past 35 years, but no one talks about updating that language much. We can go backwards, of course, but is the net result a very engaging event?

For lighting professionals who are doing their best to move the green-meetings ball forward, the updating of this thought process doesn't really take us back to the days where events don't use lighting. Instead, our creativity must lead to events with SMARTER lighting equipment that uses less energy, and most of all, better design from a green-minded professional that understands how to strike not only a "reduction vs pragmatism" balance, but an aesthetically acceptable (even, dare I say, "pleasing") one as well.

We need to begin to re-fit the aesthetic language and criteria in meeting and event lighting to include and even FEATURE the new technologies that are out there, rather than to constantly apologize for their quirks or shortcomings.

LED, HID, and CFL equipment will not solve every lighting challenge, but an exciting new dialog is happening about not just washing your stage in HID and accenting your decor in LED to save energy, but "what else about these technologies and their unique qualities will make my meeting better?"

Nancy J. Zavada, CMP said...

Well spoken! I agree!