Green Meetings Industry Council LogoDoubleDutch is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Green Meetings Industry Council. We recently attended their event in San Francisco, and came back to the office empowered by what we learned.

In celebration of Earth Day and our partnership with GMIC, we wanted to share  5 Ways to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Conference or Trade Show.

5 Ways to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Your Conference or Trade Show

Location, Location, Location!1. Location, location, location. It’s important to not only find locations that reduce the amount of travel required by attendees, but also to seek out conference spaces with proven sustainability practices. Hotels with low energy and water conservation programs are a great start, but also identify a location that is committed to minimizing waste through recycling and compost programs.

Let Them Eat Cake2. Let them eat cake! Well, maybe not a whole cake. When talking about food and beverage options for your event, ask the conference center how they source their ingredients. Express a preference toward locally sourced, organic ingredients to be featured in your meal options. Equally important, consider using cloth napkins, glassware and stemware instead of paper or plastic. If those items aren’t available, there are plenty of biodegradable, disposable items too.

Eliminate The Paper Trail3. Eliminate the paper trail. There are plenty of ways to reduce paper waste at events. One is to create signage that is reusable and timeless (everyone knows what year it is, do they need to see it on signage?). Another idea is to replace all paper communications with a mobile event application. Choose an event app that contains all your event information and content, including session details, exhibitor collateral, and more. Of course if you must print collateral, use soy based ink on recycled paper for minimum impact.

Improve The Community4. Improve the community. Incorporating a community service project into your event not only makes people feel good about their time, but it can help reduce your eco-footprint as well. Some ideas include donating hotel amenities, beach cleanups, gardening and more.

Educate Attendees 5. Educate attendees. All of these are a great way to get started on your green journey, but if attendees don’t know about it how can they help? Post information on your event website, share your goal with attendees during your welcome address and at registration. You’d be surprised to see the loyalty green brands see in comparison to their counterparts.

Of course, these are just a few ideas to reduce the impact of your conference or trade show. If there’s an idea you have that you didn’t see here, share it in the comments below!