Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council’s (SPLC) Summit 2016 hosted at Kellogg Conference Hotel in Washington DC this spring was an inspiring week focused on best practice sharing, training, and relationship building amongst purchasing professionals. Here’s a peek at a day in the life of those tasked with keeping the conference engine chugging.
6:30am – Good Morning!
The MeetGreen team is on site advancing the meeting by making sure the rooms are set up correctly, signs are in place, and registration is tidy and ready for a warm welcome to attendees. Recycle bins are affixed with instructions on what is and is not allowed in the containers. We want to make sure cross contamination is kept to a minimum to avoid that bin going straight to the dumpster!
8:00am- Registration and Breakfast
Conference logistics are in full execution mode but the conference team is also keeping an eye out for the shade grown organic coffee and making a bee line as soon as it comes out. Other delicious features include cage free organic eggs, and seasonal fruits sourced within 100 miles of the conference venue go like hotcakes!
9:00am – Keynote Kickoff
Excitement is in the air as the conference officially kicks off. Our production manager makes sure the rolling slides include sustainability facts and encourage attendees to make sustainable choices throughout the conference.
11:00 – Back of House Tour
Even though the conference is in full swing, the conference team makes sure to take time to learn about back of house practices at Kellogg. We send a team member on a trek to the kitchen to learn about The Compass Management (Kellogg Conference Hotel’s management company) TrimTrax kitchen waste reduction program and view the composting program, provided by Veteran Compost, in action.
An experiment in meatlessness….with mixed reviews. The conference staff keeps a close eye on attendee behaviors during meal times. In addition to noting the total number of actual covers served, valuable leverage for waste and cost mitigation at future conferences, the staff receives thumbs up and thumbs down alike from conference attendees on the all-vegetarian lunch. We’ll do a better job of informing attendees of the water and energy savings associated with this menu choice in the future.
2:30pm – PM Networking Break
Break time and people are looking to refresh and network. Uh-oh! Our sustainability coordinator notices that the facility accidentally put bottled water out instead of water dispensers! Thank goodness our coordinator notices this because everyone else is scurrying around getting ready for afternoon breakouts. The hotel quickly makes this adjustment back to dispensers and all is good.
5:00pm – Happy Hour
A well-deserved refreshment for attendees- local microbrew, anyone? The team is encouraging dialogue amongst attendees via the “Ask me About” eco-friendly stickers. A sticker with a sustainability topic results in extra drink tickets!
7:30pm – Get Ready to Do It Again
The day is not quite over and MeetGreen is checking the meeting rooms to make sure they are ready for the next day. Sessions signs are affixed with the next day’s breakout titles on the reusable template signs, a badge recycling bin is devised out of salvaged materials, and the team debriefs to make sure we capture the learnings from the day.