11 best practices for organising sustainable events

Protecting the planet has become the call to action that’s dominating the event industry. With so many clients looking for ways to preserve our planet’s resources, support communities, and hit CSR and ESG measures, the demand for sustainable events has risen considerably over the past few years. But, how can businesses who believe in sustainability create events that really make a difference? 

What is a sustainable event? 

Sustainable events incorporate socially and environmentally responsible decision making throughout the planning and execution of the event, as well as the participation in the event itself.

Looking for some inspiration to create a truly sustainable event? Take a look at our 11 best practices for organising a sustainable event. 

  • Think Virtual 

By harnessing the latest AV technology, you can create an immersive, virtual event experience, all whilst saving on transportation, hotels, food production and venue energy consumption. 

  • Go hybrid 

Create a seamless community feel between your online and physical event worlds, and nail your messaging with seamless hybrid branding. 

  • Select a Green Venue 

Look out for venue accreditation such as LEEd, IACC Green Star Certification, or BOMA BEST. These guarantee that your event venue offers the most sustainable options for energy sources, natural lighting, and energy efficient practices. 

  • LED Lighting 

LED lighting massively cuts down on the electricity usage of your event, making it more energy efficient and limiting any negative environmental impact. 

  • Digital Signage & Decoration

Using digital screens and the latest in AV designs instead of single-use decorations means you can keep event information up to date and engaging, adding that extra wow factor to your event format.

  • Group or Public Transport

By choosing a city centre venue next to public transport you’ll minimise the need for car journeys to your event. You could even encourage public transport use by offering attendees discounted travel to and from your event, or incentivise group travel and carpooling.

  • Work with local vendors

Make your event socially sustainable and support the local economy by working with local vendors. By giving your event contracts to local suppliers and freelancers, not only do you keep the money local to the event area, you also unlock local insight and expertise of the community too. 

  • Digital Communications

Creating a bespoke event website and using email marketing replaces physical marketing techniques with digital communication strategies that you can use to better respond to your attendee’s needs and interests. 

  • Carbon Offsetting 

The best way to create a sustainable event legacy is by offsetting any carbon created. Select from CSR compliant environmental projects across the world and donate event proceeds to offsetting programmes that counterbalance any carbon emitted from your event. 

  • Catering 

Unsustainable food waste can be avoided by calculating how much food each guest will consume, and catering to fit needs rather than wants. You can also capture dietary requirements and preferences during event registration to ensure guests have exactly what they need. 

  • Educate attendees 

At your event itself, why not communicate to attendees just how important sustainability is to you and your ESG values by making it a core part of the event agenda, and inspire sustainable behaviour in your teams. 

Not sure where to start on creating a truly sustainable event? Or need a helping hand in selecting truly sustainable event vendors and suppliers? Get in touch with the team at First Event. Using our extensive network and experience, we can deliver your event vision with sustainability at its core.