Hybrid meetings are a new configuration with an inherent ability to reduce your event’s carbon footprint. The ability for participants to connect virtually without the high environmental cost of travel including air travel, ground transportation, accommodations, handouts and giveaways will be a vital aspect in the future of meetings. Our team has been tracking measurable data in an effort to reinforce the importance of hybrid meetings in producing more environmentally responsible events.
One client’s conference earlier this year provided some of our first data points. Data analyzed for Cisco Live included a list of attendees both virtual and actual by departing location, the average time spent online by virtual attendees, an average of 2.5 hotel room night stays and meeting space usage. The report shows, the actual attendees produced 11,943 metric tons of carbon dioxide omissions by traveling to and attending the event. The virtual attendees potentially avoided 7,549 metric tons of carbon dioxide omissions by not physically attending (this figure factors in online computer electricity usage). A significant environmental savings is realized for just one of the thousands of meetings taking place daily. The economic savings was also significant as well as the “wear and tear” of travel on individuals choosing to attend virtually.
If you haven’t taken a look at hybrid meetings for your organization, the time has come. Sustainability and technology are once again hand-in-hand.