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‘Everyone is trying to get us to understand the green thing’ commented a group of industry players and ‘trying’ is the operative word as without clear 1,2,3 steps, it’s not possible for the industry to grasp the conceptual or logistical starting point on environmental sustainability known by the shorter version as ‘greening’.

The same applies to the average MICE venue’s operating personnel.  There are a variety of reasons for this unenthusiastic reaction and it is perhaps understandable reasons.

A plethora of green ‘workshops’ appear to be limited to presenters selling their services – or demonstrating their vast knowledge – by being the ‘sage on the stage’ while the audience sits and wonders how all these pearls of wisdom are going to apply to their specific situations.

There are a few secrets about ‘going green’.  The best practice text books tell us that ‘you can start anywhere that is comfortable for you…..but start you should’.  So what the books are telling us is that event greening is not an exact science and similar to learning to drive a motor-car,  it is not necessary – merely handy – to know how the engine operates.

Event Managers and MICE Venues have one aspect in common and that is a relationship – either going back a relative time period or newly-formed to discuss the requirements for a specific event.

What Event Managers and MICE Venues do not have in common is their sphere of influence.

The planner is planning the event from a variety of perspectives while the venue’s operating personnel are negotiating to sell their venue for that event, based on physical facility structure plus space and price negotiating.   In most instances their sphere of influence does not stretch in any way whatsoever to methods of using less water or electricity for that matter. Tackling the maintenance manager on less flushes in the ablutions or reducing electricity consumption by only using venues that have solar heating is just not going to happen.

There is also the tricky issue of elimination of sachets of sugar and milk in favour of large bowls of sugar and jugs of milk.  Any self-respecting catering/banqueting manager shudders at the thought of an increase in pilferage and decrease in hygiene that this green suggestion may cause.

The MICE Focus Group on Friday 27  September at the 5-star Gallagher Convention Centre takes participants on the ‘unpacking’ part of the journey from well-informed ‘hands-on’ specialists to set-the-scene and thereafter share a green blueprint.

Registrations can be made via www.miceacademy.co.za home page where the latest programme can also be found.  CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credits will be available adding to participant’s verifiable career advancement opportunities plus the value derive from the this 3 hour session.

The Academy can be emailed at info@miceacademy.co.za or 011 3264000.