It’s budget season again, when everyone is looking to the coming year and hoping for a crystal ball to tell them what the future holds.  While we can’t answer that, what we can say for sure is going green with your events can save money.

When you consider the typical conference attendee produces more than 4 pounds (1.89 kg) of waste per day, more than 2.5 pounds (1.16 kg) of which are landfilled, there has to be a better way!  Our “Environmental Footprint of an Event” infographic has more examples like this to learn more about impacts at events.

Following are some innovative ideas we’ve seen throughout the year that contribute positively:

$$$ Eliminate show aisle carpet.  This one change can save thousands of pounds of waste and help your budget tremendously.

$$$ Reduce signage.  Make the signs you must produce re-usable by eliminating dates and branding that changes year to year.  If you want to know more, signage materials and associated impacts can be found in our Signage Options Infographic.

$$ Focus on food and beverage:

  • Eliminate anything that doesn’t enhance the attendee experience and focus on healthy meals that promote learning instead, for instance, going meatless for some meals.
  • Review attendance history and update ordering plans.
  • Plan ahead with your caterer for a donation program for un-used food. Ask if you can receive a receipt for tax purposes.
  • If you haven’t already, ditch the bottled water. It’s time.

$$ Think about how sponsors might help offset the cost of initiatives that cost more, such as providing attendees with a reusable water bottle.  This model can easily be applied to other sustainable initiatives.

$$ Eliminate the bag.  Don’t forget about the cost of freight, handling, labor to stuff the bags and handing them out. Challenge people to bring a previous year’s bag and give prizes for the oldest, most interesting and/or most worn.

$$  Hire/source locally.  By seeking out local speakers, entertainment labor services, and materials you save on travel/shipping and carbon!

$ Get rid of the swag.  This is how SpringOne Platform by Pivotal did it.

$ Eliminate the badge holder.  There are great alternatives emerging, that although not plastic fee, use much less plastic than badge holders that are thrown away after the event.

To learn more about the sustainable initiatives MeetGreen’s clients are undertaking, visit our case studies.  Many measures are cost saving or cost neutral; savings from these can be diverted to pay for programs that increase costs.  Check back frequently as more case studies will be added in the coming months.

$$$ = Big savings

$$ = Moderate savings

$ = Some savings