Foundations for a Green Conference: Motivation, People, Writing a Plan

  1. Determine your motivations.

    Have a team meeting where you discuss greening, starting with your motivations both as individuals and as an organization. Starting here will help you navigate the next decisions. more »Before developing a green plan, it helps to know why you are making that decision, and what resources you are willing to commit. Are you a personally committed individual in a larger organization that doesn't care, a company that sees this as the latest fad and wants to offer carbon offsets to give yourself a green coat, an organization aiming to meet the highest standards?

  2. 80/20 Results/Effort

    For light-green events, focus on your biggest impacts first: transportation, waste/recycling, and food. Choose a site to minimize flights. Ask all potential venues and providers for their green plan. Encourage attendees to take the train or carpool and look for green hotels.

  3. A green mission statement & goals.

    A mission statement will let everyone involved know that it will be a green event so they can plan accordingly. Choose how you will review progress on goals: a single person, a committee, or everyone together at a regular meeting? more »Social responsibility will have the strongest effect on your bottom line when everyone -- clients, partners, and especially employees -- respects your company for your efforts. Top down, bottom up, or use greening as a way to strengthen and bond your team.

  4. Team, Resources, and Budget.

    Will you have a greening team, or will everyone participate together? When do you check in? How is greening factored into your workflow? Can you insist on green, budget for it, hire a green planner to do it for you? Outperform competitors »Socially Responsible companies keep outperforming their supposedly budget-minded competitors. Go ahead and inspire your clients, your suppliers, your attendees and your colleagues and employees.

  5. Feedback: Get Everyone Involved.

    Greening is a great way to have management open up to more participation from everyone creating an event. Tell your attendees who your green contact is, and ask for their advice right from the beginning.

  6. Choose a Guide.

    This online guide is intended as a starting point to help you focus. Our main goal is the next step: to help you find a guide that matches your motivations and resources.

  7. Editorial: Community Building

    Back before "green" was awash in commercialism and offsetting, community and attention to detail were considered intrinsic. This wasn't just for hippies: even as the chemical industry took major steps towards greening ten and twenty years ago, the heart of the changes wasn't cash payments for making messes, it was paying better attention to their production process. Greening made the chemical industry much more efficient at their core mission. We believe that the events industry will undergo the same revolution when it takes these green values to heart. Focus on why your attendees are coming to your event instead of staying home and watching a low-impact video? How can you best provide those values with the least resources, from the time they walk out the door of their home until they return? Sharing leads to community, simplicity keeps attendees focused, localizing leads to more fruitful connections. Greening is a great way to help people meet at your meetings.