PCMA is an excellent example of the journey to sustainable meetings. When the conference was held in Toronto, it was a “zero-waste” event made possible in part by the infrastructure of the Toronto Convention Centre and community. The next year in Seattle (also a city with many green practices in place) it was also very environmentally responsible. This year, New Orleans was a more difficult location to green. PCMA had their work cut out for them.

I heard a lot of feedback from participants about things they have come to expect but were not realized this year. One example is the expectation of either china or biodegradable plates (which the Convention Center did have) but the offsite events were a sea of little black plastic plates and plastic cups.. Making it worse, was the fact that this food was all bite-sized so an individual could go through 5-7 plates at one event. The PCMA Green Task Force was observing and collecting feedback on the green meeting practices for the planning team. Note: You should also let them know your thoughts on the evaluations.

Don’t get me wrong, New Orleans is an excellent choice of location for the social component of CSR meetings and I applaud PCMA. It just makes the planner’s job tougher to ensure the green practices are also incorporated. And like I always say, it is a journey and we learn each step of the way.