What to Expect when you’re expecting… A Sustainable Event
For many, the idea of integrating sustainability adds complication and tension to the planning cycle. What’s needed is a guidebook to build confidence and to reduce uncertainty! What’s needed is a ‘What to Expect‘ type guide:
Chapter 1: Before you conceive
Ask yourself “Why do we want this?” Get clear about the desired outcomes and allow that to provide motivation and direction for the plan. Any difficult times ahead can be managed when you have clarity, conviction and direction.
Chapter 2: Review your history
Are there things in your past that might require any special consideration? Risks which need to be mitigated or a need to manage expectations others may have? Are there financial aspects that need to be evaluated to ensure you’re on stable footing?
By conducting an objective review of risk areas, plans can be made and treatments can be administered to reduce those risks. Where will this event take place? Is there a history of injury, graft or waste, how do you know? Develop tough questions to ask of those that will assist with the delivery. If anything doesn’t feel right, consider getting a second opinion.
Chapter 3: Create a plan
Many who are expecting have a plan budget, timing and logistics but might not think about the need for also goals and targets to keep things on track. Make sure your support team is well aware of the goals and their role in supporting a successful outcome. Check periodically to verify if you’re on track to achieve your goals and make needed adjustments (more support, etc) to position you for success.
Chapter 4: Selecting and collaborating with experts
Nobody is an island. These occasions make everybody richer for the collaboration you’re able to develop. A positive, happy outcome is important for all who are affected by it. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish and the principles you hold most dear. Screen the experts and select only those that reflect your commitment and standards.
Chapter 5: The big day
You’re prepared. You have a great team. Make sure everybody knows their role and let them do their thing! Don’t forget to push and breathe. It’s ok to cry.
Chapter 6: Sharing
Details matter. Photos matter. Social media matters. Plan to organize your thoughts and how you want to share it. Invite a two-way dialogue with your circle of influence to ensure that everybody gets the same message and has the same opportunity to share their thoughts and wishes with you. Did you achieve the goals you wrote? Are there helpful tips you’d like to share with others or do you have guidance about what they should expect?
Preparing for, and giving birth to your sustainable event is one of those life-altering occasions that make you a better person and give your life meaning. And anything worth doing is worth doing well. Pursue the better events through sustainable practice!
Michael Luehrs is Sustainable Business Advisor for MeetGreen. In that role he supports meetings industry leaders such as IMEX, McDonald’s and Salesforce with practical approaches to sustainable business practices. He is current President of the Green Meeting Industry Council. Michael lives in Stockholm, Sweden and is the author of www.FightingGoodFights.com, a blog sharing practical insights on applied sustainability. Follow Michael on Twitter @michaelluehrs.