Green Conferences: Are They A Fad, Trend or a Natural Evolution?

If you have been tasked with coordinating your company’s user, developer, customer or educational conference, one key question you are probably asking yourself is “How can I and should I make my corporate conference or meeting more green?”. From energy use to incorporating disposable recyclable materials, choosing a LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building, to transportation support, the choices you make will lessen adverse environmental impacts and tie your brand to a sustainability-built set of values.

But is “going green”, a fad, trend or just a natural evolution?

We decided to ask an expert, David Fiss, CMP, Executive Producer of Live Events at Sustainable Brands and President of GMICNCC on the eve of the 4-day Sustainable Brands 2018 Conference June 4-7th in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here’s what David had to say:

Do you believe making conference design/production “green” is a fad, a trend or logical evolution?

It is a natural evolution being asked for from the client, attendee and supported by our suppliers. I believe creating a participant experience underlined with purposeful intent and incorporating environmental and social best practices is the standard of the future.  We see the whole industry moving this direction. MGM has announced no straws. Marriott is transitioning all single-use amenities to bulk dispensers. Business is leading the charge. Government is also leading. Places like Vancouver, for example, have now banned single-use plastics. Canada is announcing a plastics charter at the G7 Summit in Quebec in June 2018.


What recommendations would you give conference organizers to move more “green”?

Meeting planners are blessed with a strong supportive community and this includes EIC/IMEX and EIC Sustainability Networks. Connect with your fellow planner and get on board, learn the best practices and don’t get left out. Soon your clients and leadership teams will have this as a basic expectation for meeting planning.

What do you see are the benefits to attendees and sponsors attending the annual Sustainable Brands Conference?

By integrating sustainability initiatives into our program, sponsors are able to connect with attendees on issues that are important to their company or organization.  Likewise, attendees are informed of new technologies and concepts while participating in a conference that is working towards sustainability solutions.

When you look towards 2019, what new directions for green conferences are on the horizon?

We are very optimistic regarding the future of sustainability for our industry.  Suppliers thinking outside the box and offering solutions that we never imagined possible.  In turn, planners are willing to try emerging technologies and offer new experiences to their attendees.

Thanks David!

Are you going green at your next conference?