“Waste isn’t waste until we waste it.”
– Will.I.Am, Musician
With a strong return to in-person and hybrid events on the horizon, the waste and struggle for sustainability return with it. Safety during a pandemic creates an additional layer of difficulty, with a desire to balance this against best sustainability practices. How can we make our events safe for our staff and attendees, without compromising our goals for sustainability and carbon reduction?
Go With Digital Signage
Think about reducing waste and paper usage through digital signage wherever possible. This can include projecting social distance markers and directional arrows onto the floor to help with communicating your safety initiatives to your attendees. Although this may come with a higher price tag, utilize the resources available within your venue and get creative! Whiteboards, reusable letter boards, or generic reusable signage may offer alternate solutions.
Use digital signage and media to communicate both your sustainability plan and safety plan to your audience. Communication is a key part of the success of both of these plans – tell your audience how the two are working together!
Rethink Gifts, Swag, and Giveaways
Where possible, limit or eliminate gifts and swag that will not provide usefulness to the recipient and end up being thrown out. Be mindful of the amount of packaging required for each item being given away and work with your supplier to discuss their initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. Shopping local helps to limit the carbon footprint for each component.
Another option is to incorporate digital gifts – the kind that add a little pizazz:
- A charitable donation or carbon offset on behalf of the recipient
- A fun digital gift card experience (Unwrap It is one option)
- A non-fungible token (NFT) of a unique digital art piece (Here’s an article on the process of gifting NFTs)
As an added safety bonus, these adjustments reduce bottlenecks by eliminating the need to physically line up to receive gifts and reduce touchpoints of the gift collection site that help to improve the overall safety of your event and experience.
Work With Your Venue
Ask your venue if they are equipped with strategies or protocols that will complement your safety and sustainability initiatives. Many are offering reduced housekeeping options, composting, renewable energy, air filtration, and sourcing local which offer benefits to both carbon offsetting and improved safety for attendees.
If these services are not already available at your chosen venue, discuss what options and changes they would be willing to implement for your event to make it more sustainable!
Choosing a venue that is local to your attendees will limit travel, which is twofold in that it reduces transmission and touchpoints to improve safety and reduce the carbon emissions from the event.
– Your Tycoon, Kassidy XO