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Shireen Qudosi

Green Event Planning Tips

Jan 08 2013, 10:45 AM by

Eco-friendly isn’t just a trending bubble anymore; it’s a way of life. For companies, this means increased cost savings and favorable PR. Green event marketing can be scaled to any size. Tradeshows can go green, but so can smaller events designed to focus on specific projects like company and product launches. Whether or not you’re a “green” company, here’s how you can incorporate sustainability into your next marketing event.

  1. Print – Any event starts with the invite. If you’re using a paper invite, keep in mind the following tips:
    • Favor recycled stationery and eco-friendly printers. Papers that use sustainable fibers will certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
    • Choose fonts and graphics that reduce the amount of ink used.
    • Emphasize e-marketing as much as possible. There’s no footprint for a digital event marketing outreach campaign, plus it’s far cheaper than the printed alternative.

  2. Lighting – Use LED lighting for displays, billboards and banners. If you’re hosting a larger event, favoring LED will really add up in savings since they use a fraction of the energy that tungsten or halogen lights do.

  3. Food and Partyware – Most people forget that a green culture also encompasses food. If you’re catering anything from a meal to a small buffet, make sure you’re using local organic picks as well as catering to vegetarian/vegan lifestyles. Use recyclable bamboo dishware/flatware, which even hotels are now doing for guests at conference check-ins. Here, it’s best to go with a green event caterer who’ll know the ins and outs of eco-friendly event catering with neat little tricks like completely eliminating the need for plates and utensils. Check this off as another cost savings initiative.

    Instead of having a waste bin, have attendance relieve guests of their waste. Instead of having one big trash bin, have neatly marked bins differentiating between waste, compost and reusable items.

  4. Décor – This works better for more intimate gatherings. Why not create an eclectic ambiance by purchasing items through second-hand stores rather than contributing to consumerism and waste through first hand items?

  5. Venue – Host a day-time or early evening outdoors venue whenever possible. You’ll save on cost in most cases, as well as on décor and lighting. If you’ve selected a more natural environment like a park, you’ll be supporting the local community and can create a natural source of entertainment for your guests. Again, this works better for more intimate gatherings, but why not add a “tour” on the itinerary? A simple walking or go-cart aided tour also grants companies valuable one-on-one time with guests.

  6. Marketing - And finally, if you’re taking this approach be sure and feature it as a highlighted footnote in your digital and print marketing pieces. If you’re really going all out, be sure to extend a gratis invite for local reporters. Local reporters should always be greeted as VIP and offered a host, but you can also reach out to niche bloggers just for extended coverage and bragging rights.
Additional Green Event Planning Resources
Visit EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) website for more tips. You can also check out:

Posted in Tips & Resources, Printing, Environment, Event Marketing

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