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We all want to do the right thing when it comes to greening our events – whether meeting, incentive, conference or exhibition. Yet it is important to ensure that, while we are attempting to reduce our carbon footprint in a myriad of ways, it is also necessary to be practical in the gathering of people.

Events allow intense methods of communication together with high message retention. The interaction between human beings – face to face – has the ability to progress and grow to a level not experienced within any other genre. In bringing people together, the networking value alone can be huge as has been proven time and again

Certainly events can have a devastating effect – similar to a plague of locusts – a crowd descend and within a short period of time disappear leaving a great deal consumed, wasted, damaged and indeed less than before the group arrived. However, more than a modicum of common sense needs to prevail. Here are some pointers to give serious consideration to when next an event is being planned.

Air conditioning
Turning off the air conditioning in a large enclosed space can prove either too warm and at times certainly too cold.

Bags and badges
Eliminating any handouts at registration can cause untold challenges in standardised, simple communications. Unless all the attendees are on the same page as far as technology is concerned, those without the required smartphone, iPad and the like could be marginalised from some of the delegation receiving ongoing information.
Also being able to have some form of carrier bag would surely be possible if recyclable materials are used.

Catering condiments
Replacing sachets of sugar and milk in favour of large uncovered bowls and jugs causes the hospitality folk to almost cringe in despair. Not only is this practice unhygienic, individual sachets is a method of controlling pilferage to some extent.

In the events industry one has to be more creative as to how our events can ‘go green’ without causing discomfort together with a certain amount of stress. Discomfort and stress reduces the level of message retention which should be avoided at all costs. With event greening it is not a question of practising (at a gathering) what we preach but rather practising what the client wants to ensure a satisfactory and conducive event conclusion.

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