Monday, November 26, 2012

Not Worth Weighing

If this is the amount of recycling (and no landfill waste) left at the end of a three-day conference for 250 participants that's a "green meeting" in my book.  No certification or standard required.  All other conference materials were used, eaten, taken, donated or not ordered to begin with.

Congratulations to the

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Are You on the Transition Team?

"The world is changing 
and I am on the transition team." 

This is an exciting time to be on the transition team for meetings and events.  After years of meeting planning practices being fairly static, our world is being shaped by:

  • Technology
  • Hybrid events
  • Climate change 
  • Introverts finding their voice
  • Social media
  • Increased awareness of organizations' corporate citizenship
  • Sustainability
  • Sustained economic pressure
  • Globalization
  • Well-informed, involved attendees

So if you aren't on the transition team already, it's time to get involved.   Start today by tweeting about your event, develop an event disaster plan for severe weather, attend a hybrid event, save money through green practices, design your program with introverts in mind and include a CSR program in your next event.

Welcome to the team!

Note: Although I don't know who to attribute the quote above to, I am guessing it is the same person that said, "Honey, Normal is now just a setting on the dryer." 



Monday, November 12, 2012

Greener Meetings Held in 2012

The headline reads, "Is Green a Priority? Most Planners Have Stepped Up Conservation Efforts."  It is a headline that, five years ago, very few would have believed still newsworthy in 2012.  The greening of meeting practices was thought to be a fad that would soon disappear like registering by fax machine.  Yet, it has been the cover story this year for a significant number of meeting industry publications including the October issue of Meetings & Conventions Magazine.

The meetings industry continues to become more sustainable thanks to factors including cost savings and a big dose of organizations striving to appear as good corporate citizens.  In fact, according to the M&C research, 53% of respondents believe on-site conservation efforts are important to their meeting attendees.

When asked if their organization's meetings are greener now than they were two years ago, only 10% said not at all and 1% said they are even less green now, leaving an impressive 89% holding greener meetings.

53% either sometimes or always donate leftover food to charity, finally taking great strides to debunk the myth donating food is a liability issue for venues and caterers.

In an interesting twist, all but 27% are now willing to implement green meeting procedures that require more costs--athough I still maintain green meeting initiatives are either cost neutral or a cost savings on the total budget.

Facilities and hotels take note, 83% of respondents are aware their properties can be certified as environmentally responsible.  I would venture a guess, they will be asking for this certification as a part of the upcoming RFP process.

Note:  my thanks to Meetings & Conventions Magazine for providing this research and benchmarking our industries green meeting initiatives.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sustainability: What I Learned From Football

Trying to incorporate sustainable event practices into your meetings or organization? Take a hint from American football. Yes, football. 

While you know your goal is to be as green as possible, it is a long way to the end zone.  Here is a little advice straight from the coach's handbook...

  • Concentrate on the next 10 yards. Without incremental wins along the way, you can't reach the goal line.  
  • Use your special teams. Green teams filled with passionate individuals can often move things forward faster. 
  • When in doubt, punt. Sometimes the well-conceived plan just doesn't work. Consider all of your options.  
  • Take time to huddle. After a burst of enthusiastic success, gathering together to celebrate and redefine your strategy may be in order. 
  • Every player is essential. No team can win without everyone's full commitment in their area of expertise. Everyone in your organization should understand the sustainability initiatives and their role.
  • The best defense is a good offense.  By consistently working towards being a better corporate citizen, your organization will not be called upon to defend itself against questionable environmental or social practices.

Note: Football's chest pounding, butt slapping, and Gatorade dumping...optional!