The annual BSR Conference is one of the world’s most influential events devoted to sustainability. Now entering its 25th year, the BSR Conference brings together a global audience of close to 1,000 senior business executives and entrepreneurs from the public sector and civil society to explore emerging trends and innovative solutions to crucial sustainability questions. This 2016 conference was hosted at the Grand Hyatt New York, New York, NY.
7:00am- Hello Signs, Banners, and Kiosks!
Strong branding is a hallmark of the BSR Conference. Staff is up early this day putting banners in the session rooms, supervising placement of large format signs and checking on branded installations from the general contractor vendor. Equally important to the branding is transparency in use of signage substrates, employing reusable elements such as rented furnishings, and leveraging existing digital signage provided by the hotel.
8:30am- It’s All About the Name Badge
Registration is in full swing with attendees queueing to pick up their badge and learn about the conference app that replaced the conference program 5 years ago. Reducing the number of handouts is a key goal of this conference along with finding the most eco-friendly and elegant name badge. The solution is a holderless, coated paper badge that reduces the materials needed. Registration staff is handing these out like hotcakes before the keynote kicks off!
10:00am- Yoga and Massage Anyone?
Event staff are busy ushering in masseuses with their massage chairs and setting up an area for the yoga instructor coming for the AM break. Health and wellness along with a little networking provide great experiences for attendees and shift the focus away from giveaways as value add.
11:30am- Crickets for Lunch
Just kidding! Well, sort of. Our MeetGreen project manager is meeting with our client, hotel contact and the afternoon keynote to sort out last minute details on the post-lunch cooking demonstration showcasing the use of insects as a viable (and sustainable) source of protein. The sweet potato and cricket cakes were delicious!
1:00pm – Live Stream It
The afternoon keynote is about to start and final checks are being done to ensure that virtual attendees have seamless access. Reaching a wider audience in a manner with minimal carbon impact is a BSR Conference goal and this time efforts were hampered due to unstable internet. Live events are never perfect but event staff works diligently to ensure technical issues are fixed.
4:00pm- A Peek Under the Tent at BSR Conference
MeetGreen Founder Nancy Zavada and BSR Project Manager Carole Garner quickly jump into clean suits and run a brush through the hair before heading to speak at their Brand Camp session while the rest of the staff keep the conference chugging along. This year was a special opportunity to share the story of the BSR Conference’s path to sustainability along with case studies from other leading corporate and association conferences.
5:00pm- What to Do About Waste
The evening reception is imminent and staff are still talking about the challenges with managing waste in New York City. The city has a Zero Waste mandate by the year 2030 however today there is no composting or glass recycling infrastructure at the Grand Hyatt New York. BSR addresses this issue by careful catering orders and purchasing choices that reduce the need for products packaged in glass.
7:00pm- Getting Ready for the Next Day
The day is almost complete and the MeetGreen team is tired but energized after a great day at the BSR Conference. Discussions on what went well and what could use improvement are had over a plate of appetizers and a beverage. As well, a look towards the following day and discussing the logistics of the sustainability tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Subway passes are purchased to reduce the carbon footprint for transportation and lunch has been booked at a nearby farm to fork restaurant. All that’s left to do is execute. We’ve got this!