Sustainability isn’t going anywhere. We are always looking for ways to "go green" and learn about how we can do our part to impact the environment. It would only make sense that this effort spills into the events industry. The sustainable event trend is continuing to grow with no signs of stopping so it’s time to get on board! Many businesses and event planners have already begun brainstorming how to implement ways they can make their events environmentally friendly.
So, what does it even mean to be “sustainable”? Well, being sustainable means that you are making changes to avoid the depletion of natural resources. The goal is to help maintain the environmental or at minimum ecological balance. Creating sustainable events is key to being a responsible event planner. We are going over a variety of ideas that you can implement to go green and jump on the sustainable event trend. Some of these ideas are simple and you can quickly implement. Other ideas will take time but are so worth it!
Why Become Sustainable?
Before we can make these changes, we need to understand the footprint we’re leaving on the environment. What is the impact of our jobs, the events we attend, the festivals we go to, even the way we communicate with each other? Events cause a lot of waste and leave a large carbon footprint. According to meetgreen.com the typical conference waste attendee produces 1.89KG of waste per day, 1.16KG of that will go directly to a landfill. When you calculate that number for 1000 attendees over 3 days you get 5670KG of waste, the equivalent of 4 compact cars. It’s not just about waste either, there are many factors that go into event sustainability we will touch on later.
To really understand how you can make a change you need to think about a few questions. How can we truly make an impact and reduce our footprint? Where do I start? Can I really make a difference? It’s not as hard as you might imagine but it takes conscious effort. Something as simple as going paperless for our bills, using biodegradable cups or eco-friendly transportation will help minimise your impact on the environment. However, there is so much more you can do!
As an event planner, it’s your role to make changes in the events you create. You are responsible to make your events more sustainable. This requires you to think outside of the box. How can you begin changing the way you do business? What choices can you make to be more sustainable? Before you can make big changes to the way you are planning events and doing business, you need to make a plan. There are a variety of different areas you can make changes in, from venues to catering and overall event production. In order to know what to change, you need to know your impact. Start with taking a hard look at your events. What environmental impacts can you begin to make more sustainable? Are there ways you can immediately start implementing some changes? Below is a list of a few ideas you can focus on to create more sustainable events.
Starting with something as simple as going paperless is an easy way to make a large impact. Instead of mailing out invites or memos, create an event page, app or email subscription for your attendees. Not only do these options help you minimise your footprint, they allow you to communicate with your attendees and staff in real time. Suddenly a last minute change to your event won’t seem so daunting, you can easily distribute the new information immediately to your attendees. You will also save money in the long run because you will never need to reprint thousands of programs when you add a speaker or make a change to the schedule.You most likely already have a website, an email list and are set up on social media platforms so leverage that!
Having your information readily available on your site, blog or social channels makes it easier for your attendees to locate your information. It also allows them to share your updates, event information and connect with others all over the world, building your audience and reach for your events while increasing engagement. Bonus, they will never lose your event information again because it will be on the one item attendees keep with them at all times, their smartphones.
Transportation and Location:
The location and transportation at your event can create some big opportunities to cut down on your carbon footprint. Taking into play both the attendees and your staff, there are multiple ideas you can implement. Let’s focus on your attendees getting to and from the event. If you are able to host your event and lodging in the same hotel that immediately cuts the need for transportation greatly reducing your events carbon footprint. If that is not a possibility organising a shuttle service from 2 or 3 main pickup points can greatly reduce the use of cars too. This would reduce your events carbon footprint and also make your attendees experience easier and more enjoyable.
Another option is to pick an easily walkable location for your event. Sourcing venues that are easily reachable by public transportation or foot can greatly reduce your environmental impact. Make sure that there are plenty of things to do nearby that are easily walked to such as great restaurants and shopping. Even look at the lodging aspect of your event. If you know that a bulk of your attendees are coming from out of town, try and source eco-friendly or “green” hotels.
Production and Purchasing:
By using effective project management you can reduce overall planning and cost of your event. It will also help you avoid the unnecessary use of resources. Ensuring you have a properly mapped out plan will not only help you reduce your footprint, but it will you save money. Look at past years budgets to see what areas you over-used and which were on par with your budget. Bonus: this will make the overall execution of event go smoothly.
Food and Drink:
This includes everything from seed to plate. Look at reusable or biodegradable cups if you know your event will have a high waste rate. Events are notorious for wasting food. Stop throwing that food out! Get an accurate guest count and finalize the amount needed with your caterer. Don’t overdo it. If you do end up with lots of leftover food consider donating it to those who are in need. It has become considerably easier to do this now so take advantage of local programs.
Using renewable energy sources with efficient system design and the latest in technology can help cut power usage and minimise your footprint. With the advancement in technology and continuous growth in our digital capabilities, there are many ways you can save on power to make a more sustainable event. Options as simple as switching to LED lighting and lower power efficiency systems will help minimise your footprint. Talk to your event production company and AV team to see how you can create a more sustainable event by using less energy. This is not only a great way to go green but can save you money!
This is an area that should be focused on from the beginning. Event after event we see the outcomes of what the venue and environment look like from attendees. After the attendees have left the site filled with trash polluting some of the most beautiful outdoor landscapes. Often it causes an uproar from the owners and locals which no longer want to have the events. Confirm that your event venue recycles their waste if they don’t have a system in place then start making a plan. Hire on or use volunteers to collect items that are recyclable after the event. Biodegradable cups and utensils are another area we have touched on and can have a big impact. The goal is to make it as easy as possible for your attendees to recycle and maintain the venue while still enjoying the event so be sure to place plenty of recycling bins around encouraging guests to help reduce waste. If you see leftover tents or products that can be reused, look into putting a donation together for your local charity. Learn to think outside of the box and create innovative ways to become sustainable.
Make A Plan:
Be sure to identify which area you want to target and track the biggest impact in order to maximise your plan. If you choose to focus on multiple areas, be sure to rank them in terms of importance. Your budget may not allow you to pick 2 or 3 areas but don’t let that stop you! Making just one change to any of the above groups will kick-start the sustainability levels in your business. If nothing else it will have everyone else around you thinking about how they can implement changes of their own.
Now that you have made a plan you have to create the goals. As with anything in event planning, you can’t go in blindly. Making a plan to break down each step is going to be crucial to the success of your changes. Be realistic; do not set goals that require too much in a short period of time. If you have one year to plan an event, make achievable deadlines.
If you remember anything from this article then let it be this: don’t be afraid to start slow and work your way up. Switching to a more sustainable event will take planning, time and if done poorly, can end up costing excess money. Develop a strong to-do list, checkpoints, and deadlines for results by a creating a timeline. Delegate tasks to the appropriate members and allow for open communication.
Ease Into It:
Beware, this isn’t something that will come naturally to everyone. Be patient and follow up to ensure the tasks are being met. At the end of the day, jumping on the sustainable event trend is going to take strong management skills and time. Be patient, collect your resources, ask for feedback and give yourself enough time to meet your deadlines. Remember don’t lose sight of the event experience and why you created the event in the beginning. Jumping on any trend just because is never a great reason always remember your events “why”.
Digital World and Sustainability:
What are some other ways to use the digital world to become sustainable? We’re in the middle of the tech age. Every day a new app is being developed and changes are being made to the way we do business. The sustainable event trend opens up the door for event planners and businesses to change the way we operate. This allows us to make a real impact on our environment. Whether it’s a music festival or a conference, there are tons of ways to implement digital tools. You can even create new ideas or tools to make your event and business sustainable.
Say you are planning an annual conference. You know that sign-up, registration and scheduling are areas you want to target to become sustainable, but how? Look at the previous year’s plans and brainstorm how you can improve upon each area. Was what you were doing efficient? Are there ways to make it more sustainable? What was your biggest pain point? Answer those questions and go from there.
A big way to add sustainability to your event is to create an online platform for registration and it’s easy! It’s also cost-efficient and will save your attendees time to enroll in your conference. Send e-mail notifications of enrollment and create an e-ticket that can be scanned from their smartphones to eliminate paper. This initial idea goes along with being both paperless and digital. Registration can be streamlined through early check-in and scanning of your e-ticket. Instead of printing off badges and handing out booklets, create an event app or use an event management software.
Social Media Channels If you are planning an event and already have a strong online presence through social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, then you can skip handing out maps and programs for your event. Leverage your social channels to share this information in a greener way. Create a event page or group on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to add schedules, maps, allow attendees to coordinate a carpool from different locations and create a community board for attendees to discuss your event. Not only is this extremely helpful for your attendees but it creates great engagement to be shared to their social channels giving your event a larger audience. Having information available on social channels reduces paper and increases the impact of your sustainable plan. It also makes all of your event information readily available at their fingertips.
Another excellent way to do this, if your budget allows, is through an event app, you can create an app to increase engagement. Attendees can download the app right to their phones and constantly be engaged. If there is a delay or weather changes or important updates, your event app will allow you to reach them in real time.
Digital Event Planning Benefits:
There has been a fear that with the continuous implementation of new technology in the digital world. The fear is that we are going to eventually outsource ourselves and lose the human touch. This fear could not be more incorrect. Yes, we are in an age where the world is becoming more digital every day and instead of fearing it, we need to learn to embrace it.
Live events like concerts, festivals and conferences are not going anywhere. People embrace events because of the connections they make and sense of community events give them. Instead of fearing change, implement it and understand it to make a more sustainable event. There are countless ways to use digital platforms to update the way we plan and operate that will never take away from the experience:
Make the Most of the Current Environment We have covered a few areas of event planning and changes you can make in your strategy to ensure that you’re running a sustainable event. The first and most important step we can take is to truly be committed to making a change. It takes one person to make a positive impact. Be the person to stand up and pitch the idea of sustainable events at your next meeting. Research an hour or two a week on easy ideas you can implement and build out from there. Remember it starts with you and you can make these changes today to help sustain the beautiful world that we live in. The decisions we make every day will impact the world for decades to come and we have the opportunity to wake up and impact the way businesses, events and people in general feel. Let’s take care of the environment that takes care of us.
For more information on sustainable events or to request a topic connect with us below!
Scarlett Moffatt Celebrity Talent Booking + Much More at This Years' Enchanted Christmas Lights Switch On!
The Melt Productions team are this year delighted to help produce the BIG Chippenham Christmas Lights Switch On! Working closely alongside Chippenham Connected and Chippenham Town Council, this years' celebration is set to be bigger and better than ever before!
Featuring 'I'm A Celeb' Queen of the Jungle Scarlett Moffatt, the infamous Abseiling Santa, Bjorn the life size Animatronic Polar Bear, Dancing Reindeer On Stilts, Christmas Market Stalls and much, much more!
If you're in the area, be sure to pop down between 10:00 and 19:00 this Saturday 23rd November!
Understanding Your Vision:
Before we can start to develop your event, it is imperative for us to understand what you would like to achieve in holding the event. It is important to be aware where you have held events previously; what worked for you and what did not. We can then discuss your budget and how much of the project Melt Productions will be involved in and what we will do to assist you.
Creating A Detailed Project Plan:
Project plans are important for any event, both to understand deadlines and to recognise expectations and time frames. We will work with you to prioritise tasks that you believe are urgent and work with your day-to-day schedule to ensure everything we are doing is transparent and matches the ethos of your company.
Understanding Changes Are Inevitable:
Our experienced team have superb organisational and time management skills, through facilitating countless successful meetings. Despite this, you cannot avoid the fact that event planning is an unpredictable process. Our invaluable team are flexible, approachable and are able to manipulate tasks to adapt to changes and any obstacles that pop up along the way. We will work with you and review the project plan to re-prioritise when the situation calls for it.
Details, Details, Details:
No event is successful without attention to detail. We ensure that every contract is scrutinised, rates negotiated and function sheets double checked. If the venue is not aware of the finer details, then they cannot provide your delegates with the experience that you wish to provide. We use our wealth of knowledge and reflect on what has worked in the past to develop your events in the future, and getting it wrong is not an option.
That’s a Wrap!
Once your event is complete we continue to work with you to ensure that the event met your expectations and the experience for your delegates was smooth and fulfilling. We can develop a clear and concise breakdown of charges for the whole period that all parties agree with.
It is important for us to reflect on the event and obtain your feedback. This way we can develop and make sure that we further exceed your expectations on your next conference, meeting, product launch, website, venue find or whatever it might be that maximise your time can do to ensure you can concentrate on your core business.
With another busy summer season coming to a close, we're now looking forward to an exciting autumn - winter season of events!
From Award Ceremonies to Product Launches to Experiential Campaigns, Private Parties and Seasonal Events... Whatever your requirements our team are here to help.
To discuss your next event, please get in touch with one of the Melt Productions team via the Contact page, or send us an email: email@example.com.
We've put together some handy tips and advise enabling you to think smart when it comes to planning your next Brand Activation...
Location is vital to the success of your promotion, taking into account several factors whilst asking the following questions will help you find the right spot…
Think carefully about your target market, firstly, ‘Do they visit the location?' It must be somewhere that a high volume of your target audience regularly visit to ensure your message is getting to the right people. ‘How often do they visit?’ Think about the time of year, take into account holidays and understand the physical movements of your market.
Next ask ‘How long do they spend at the location?’ Avoid wasted expenses on staffing and opening times, if your audience don’t arrive until midday plan your activation to suit.
Your location will dictate many other factors relating to the experience of your activation, take into account the temperature. ‘Is it an outside venue?’ If so make sure you are providing adequate provisions for your staff… A Brand Ambassador that is cold will not perform as well as happy warm one! Plus your visitors will think twice about hanging around to engage if the environment is uninviting.
It has been touched on above, but understanding your target audience is crucial. Get into their minds. What will entice them? What will keep them interested and engaging in your activation long enough to get your message across?
An example being a more elderly audience are often put off by a forceful approach, you would have greater success creating a space that captures the ageing demographic. Once you have them interested in the space and talking with you it is much easier to deliver your brand message.
Remember the three ‘C’s’… Clear, Concise, Creative.
Keep it clear and understandable, you will more than likely be using Event Support Staff or Brand Ambassadors to convey your message. Unfortunately even the best BAs in the country don’t have the time to learn every aspect of your business or product.
Think about time, a concise message is often the best way to go… But consider how long will each engagement last for? If you have a more detailed message it would be wise to create an activation to suit, keeping your visitors engaged and interested in the activation long enough to get your message across.
Creating something different and interesting will ensure visitors are enticed to your activation, take into account your audience what will attract them and how does it relate to your massage. Designing an attractive installation that creates questions, offers experiences and stands out is a recipe for success.
Feedback and Targets:
Always ask WHY? What are you trying to achieve? Make sure you have a clear aim and target. This could include generate more members, data capture, displaying a product or conveying your brand message. Daily reports are important to measure the success of your activation, to get the right information think about creating a custom report form for mangers to complete.
Listen to your Event Manager/s feedback, it is very rare that activations will be perfect from day one. Be flexible and ready to adapt day-by-day, this will only develop your campaign for the better and increase its success.
Your most valuable assets are the boots on the ground who are experiencing the interactions with your audience first hand. If they communicate any issues or ideas of how to improve the activation… Listen and react.
If you are looking for exceptional Event Production and Event Marketing, that have delivered a wide range of Brand Activations and that will take into account all fundamental aspects when creating your next activation… Then look no further, Melt Productions are here to help.
To discuss your next project, you can get in touch with us via the CONTACT page.
Events can benefit your business in more ways than one…
Here are just two!
Using Your Space:
Do you have warehouse or outside space that can be used for an event installation? Hiring event space is a huge part to event budgets, why fork out for a venue when you have a perfectly useable space that you manage?
An event production company can transform any space into an unimaginable event. From creating a rainforest inside your loading bay, to building a festival site in your car park.
Not only would you save money on your own Christmas parties or summer celebrations, but you could potentially offer your creative event space to other businesses in your area. Selling tables or tickets to Winter Balls, Charity Galas or Summer Celebrations as well as seeing financial revenue from the event.
Celebration events of this nature are also a great way to develop relationships with clients, potential clients and suppliers. Offering tables as gifts or even competition prizes can create a big buzz and engagement with your brand. And everything just becomes a little more achievable when the event is held on your premises. (As well as you saving a fair bit of cash).
On top of this enlisting the help of a professional bar company could make you revenue from bar sales, however it is vital you are operating within licensing laws and heath and safety. All of which would be covered by an event production company that knows how.
The possibilities are endless when you have useable space, if you are interested in a free event space evaluation get in touch with Melt Productions. We carry out a feasibility study of your space and offer ideas as to what is achievable, we have created winter wonderlands in workshops and award ceremonies in car parks there really is no limit to what can be achieved.
The age of cliché team building days are firmly in the past, with huge leaps in technology influencing the way in which we communicate it is crucial to adapt and understand how these developments affect your workforce.
The most noticeable is the constant craving for something new and exciting, living in an information rich world creates hungry thumbs swiping for the next nugget of stimulus.
As an employer you must question… How do you keep your employees engaged? Not only with the task in hand but with each other, always developing and building a solid team dynamic.
As event creators we must be at the forefront of technology and communication platforms, using these platforms to engage your employees, increasing face to face interactions and providing them with new and exciting ways to connect with and learn about each other.
A great example of this is the boom in 'Escape Rooms’ or 'Locked-In' challenges. These are not a new phenomenon, team building activities like these have been around for years they have just undergone a re-vamp using immersive technology such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Not only this the addition of lasers, lighting, smoke machines all add to a greater immersive experience.
Whether it’s a ‘Crystal Maze’ style physical challenge or testing the groups mental strengths, all are designed to increase communication, engage the entire group and find leaders. Putting your employees into a challenge with some jeopardy will always bring them together, importantly allowing them to experience new and different ways of communication.
If you’re looking for something extreme, taking your workforce out of the office away form the norm. Developing communication, changing perceptions and pushing boundaries get in touch with Melt Productions. We have out of the box event ideas in the new age of team building.
As you may already be aware, a successful event requires plenty of time and preparation. Top notch organisation is key to a flawlessly executed event. On top of this, creative design and an imaginative concept will also put you ahead of the game when it comes to creating something truly unforgettable for your guests and clients.
Whether it is business or personal, it is ultimately down to the smooth running, design and level of production of your event that will be its defining factor.
New clients can be gained and old clients retained when your event is left in the hands of a professional Event Management company, making it well worth the financial investment.
Event management companies are highly experienced at planning events in the most cost effective way, saving you both time and money. Their knowledge and prior experience enables them to incorporate special details and strive for the best possible event outcome for you.
An established Event Management company will have built up strong relationships with fellow event industry suppliers, saving you lots valuable time and money. The relationship between the event management company and their suppliers entitles them to the best possible prices which will inevitably mean more financial gain for you.
Experienced Event Managers are prepared to tackle any type of emergency situation with ease. Here at Melt for example, all of our staff come with a minimum of first aid training and many are also NEBOSH qualified.
Stress reduction is the primary benefit of hiring an Event Management company. All of the 'fire fighting' is done by us in a professional yet personable manner. In the events industry we are lead by solutions, not problems!
Preparation and management of every tiny detail will be covered leaving you to focus on your clients and guests.
To discuss your next event with one of the Melt Productions team, please get in touch with us via the 'Contact' page.
Having ideas about how to make your event more sustainable and eco-friendly is one thing, but to actually implement those ideas is another...
Ultimately it is down to the Event Organisers to ensure each event they manage is as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.
It is important to circulate strong eco-friendly message surrounding your event and in all communications highlighting just how important it is to you.
This will encourage your exhibitors and delegates to think consciously about their interaction with the event and hopefully beyond!
Here at Melt Productions and Melt Bars we do our upmost make sure each of our event we run has a minimal impact our amazing planet.
Here's some of our top ideas on how to keep your next event green:
1. Bike Parking Lots:
Ever hosted an event where guests have been bare knuckle fighting for a parking space? Have you ever considered offering more bike parking spaces and less car parking spaces? Offering free bike parking as well as incentives such as dicount vouchers and free tea and coffee on arrival?
Implement these and not only are you potentially saving money and space on the hire of a car park, you're reducing each delegates carbon footprint and saving them money by offering free parking... Everyone's a winner!
2. Recyclable Exhibition Stands:
If you're planning a conference, exhibition stand or display, make sure you look into sourcing recyclable open frames.You can now get frames made from 65% recycled aluminium. Their interlocking panels weigh about 15% less than traditional panels, making them easier to get into position. not only this, they are much stronger than traditional stands. graphics and accessories can be customised as normal and they are now even looking into building properties with this stuff... How Awesome is that?
Looking for a slightly cheaper option?
just type 'eco-bannerstands' into your search engine and you should find a variety of cardboard options that are 100% recyclable and made from at least 75% recycled content.
3. Reusable Water Bottles & Water Filling Point:
Encourage your guests to bring along and reuse their own water bottle. Offer free filling Stations to discourage your punters and delegates from buying water bottles overtime.
Below is a list of reasons to switch from buying bottled water over and over again to buying one reusable bottle for life:
• Bottled water generates up to 600 times more CO2 than tap water
• New research shows that drinking a bottle of water has the same impact on the environment as driving a car for a kilometre.
• There's enough oil used in the production process of water bottles in the UK to keep 17,000 cars on the road for a year.
• Bottled water is just as expensive as petrol.
Looking for a good bottle to quench your thirst?
Check out: www.reusablebottle.co.uk they have plenty on their website for you to choose from.
Although not always practical, choosing the right venue is accountable to the carbon footprint of your event. Gather information regarding a venue’s use of energy prior to booking and consider how your guests will travel to and from the venue, as well as organisers, speakers and exhibitors.
Destination is key to making the event a success in terms of sustainability. Ensure the venue is situated conveniently for the majority of your guests and that the public transport connections are good.
Think about using in-house kit that belongs to the venue to avoid any unnecessary traveling by external suppliers.
Also, if your event is taking place in the daytime consider your lighting and electricity requirements - Do you really need them?
5. Sustainable Food Vendors:
we believe that sourcing sustainable food vendors at your event is so very important. With people becoming more and more aware of some of the negative impacts that certain areas of the food industry can have on the planet, why not spend some time doing proper research into where your vendors are sourcing their products from?
If you're planning the menu for an event, try to consider seasonal and local food, which isn’t likely to leave a big carbon footprint.
Confirm the number of delegates with your caterer as close to the event as possible. This way the amount of food can be adjusted to ensure minimal waste.
Often, the fuel for delegates at an event will be tea and coffee, to ensure guests are as refreshed and energetic as they can be! Try to choose coffee and tea from sustainable and fair-trade growers.
But not only this, ensure they are using recyclable utensils plates, cups and cutlery... Oh and ditch the straws if you can.
vegeware are great for this kind of thing.