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Environmental Sustainability and Meeting Planning

New meetings and events trends are evolving since the impact of the pandemic in 2020. Now in 2021 as in-person meetings slowly return, environmental sustainability has become one of the biggest trends meeting industry professionals are incorporating into their planning. Did you know? 58% to 67% of event professionals are very likely or completely likely to address sustainability in their meeting plans for 2021. (Global Meetings & Events Forecast, 2021)

In this blog post we will go over: 1. What is Environmental Sustainability? 2. Why it has Become Popular in the Meeting and Events Industry 3. How to Incorporate Environmental Sustainability in Meeting Planning

What is Environmental Sustainability?

According to Sphera, “Environmental sustainability is the responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect global ecosystems to support health and wellbeing, now and in the future.” When thinking about environmental sustainability in meeting planning, it is about being able to create these experiences now without producing long-term consequences for future generations. There are many ways, big and small, to be more eco-friendly that can be incorporated into our meeting planning efforts.

Why it has Become Popular in the Meetings and Events Industry

In a 2020 PromoLeaf survey, “60% of respondents prefer attending conferences hosted using sustainable practices, with over 25% strongly preferring such conferences.” Consumers are becoming more aware of what items negatively impact our environment. Therefore, they are making more eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethical purchases, which includes the decision of registering for a meeting or event. This is why environmental sustainability has become a huge trend in the meeting planning industry. You will build trust with your potential attendees by communicating that you are doing your best to help protect our environment now and for future generations to come.

How to Incorporate Environmental Sustainability in Meeting Planning

Go Digital with Event Materials and Registration

Using technology tools not only can help with planning, registration, attendee engagement, branding, and more but also is more sustainable for our environment. Less waste of materials that go into running an in-person meeting such as paper and plastic can be nearly eliminated as most things are handled digitally.

  • Online Registration

  • Phone App

  • Digital Signage

  • QR Codes

Limit the Amount of Public Transportation

Less travel means less gasoline, which will reduce the vehicle emissions that harm the environment. Limiting the amount of public transportation could be done in many different ways:

  • Choose a venue that is accessible by public transport

  • Incentivize carpooling option

  • Providing eco-friendly, electric vehicles for transport

Avoid Over-Catering or Single-Use Items

Food and Beverage waste can be a huge challenge when it comes to meeting planning. This is because there are many items to take into consideration i.e., the Caterer, Allergies, Covid Safety Protocols, Number of Attendees, Budget, etc.

  • Donate Leftover food to local charity

  • Biodegradable alternatives rather than plastic

  • Local, seasonal produce

  • Refining the process for the amount of food needed

Consider a Venue that is also Taking Part in Environmental Sustainability

During your planning, ask the venue what they are doing to take part in being more actively sustainable. Eco-friendly items (other than recycling bins) to consider when asking:

  • Renewable Energy

  • Filtered water dispensers

  • Eco-friendly toiletries

Sustainable Swag Bags

Stop using plastic bags for swag at your meetings and events! Many other options are more eco-friendly that you could use for your swag bags. For your sponsors and exhibitors, let them know about your sustainable efforts and suggest their items participate in your mission as well.

  • Recycled Eco Totes

  • Reusable Straws

  • Stainless Steel Cups

  • Recycled Felt Coasters

Meetings have evolved. Whether they’re taking place in person, virtually, or a hybrid of the two, you need experts who can deliver. The LaClare Group are experts in planning and operating multi-day events. From finding the perfect location and negotiating contracts in your best interest to managing the online registration process and delivering a well-executed meeting, on budget.

We are offering you a free 30-minute consultation with The LaClare Group on anything related to meetings & events -virtual, hybrid, and/or in-person! You can schedule your consultation today by email ( or phone call (952.737.6980).


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