Prior to their big October 15-17 IMEX America event in Las Vegas, IMEX America put together a sustainability guide containing seven ways attendees, exhibitors, and hosted buyers could be environmentally mindful and socially responsible at the event. Beyond recycling and using public transportation methods for carbon offsetting, suggestions included distributing USB sticks instead of printed brochures, participating in the badge recycling program, and visiting the sustainability hub to chat with green consultants and sign the pledge wall. We liked their tips quite a bit and wanted to throw in one of our own: use technology to prevent paper waste.
Reduce paper waste by using online event management tools and offering event apps
It is estimated that about 70% of all printed material ends up in the trashcan. A central event management system helps reduce the paper consumption right from the beginning for all event planning and coordination. Almost all communication between departments and external suppliers can be done electronically, and connections with clients and attendees can occur without the use of paper. For example, in exhibition management, this starts with an interactive floor plan in which exhibitors can choose and book their booth themselves, and can then extend all the way to attendee event registration.
On the participation side of the event, sustainability benefits from technology can be realized by attendees through a mobile app. Event-specific mobile apps can replace brochures and catalogs normally distributed at an exhibition and serve as a venue guide, allowing attendees to view exhibitor and speaker profiles, and even create individual schedules for sessions. In some cases, attendees can contact exhibitors or other event attendees via the app, allowing them to connect in some very easy and powerful ways.
For exhibitors and sponsors, mobile apps can offer very valuable brand building and sales opportunities. Exhibitor and attendee profiles can be viewed in the app and meetings with business prospects can be easily arranged. Advertising revenue that was historically generated through print materials can now be replaced by banner ads inside of an event app with an additional advantage of linking directly to the sponsor’s website.
There is no single green solution
Mobile event apps and other online tools will surely be an integral part of the events industry in the future considering the functionality and advantages they offer for all applicable players. However, they are obviously not the stand-alone solution for making events green. Truly sustainable events require a comprehensive plan existing outside of any individual event to include a recycling program, energy efficient spaces and venues, and transportation alternatives that offset carbon emissions brought about by meeting travel.
Nowadays sustainability is more than just a sign of environmental awareness and responsibility for society and future generations. For convention centers and event managers, it can mean a distinct competitive advantage. Ultimately, the right software and mobile event apps are a step in the right direction toward green events and an even larger step toward increased efficiency in event planning and coordination.
Can online management tools and mobile apps make a difference for your organization? We’re happy to help you find out. Click here to schedule a demonstration of Ungerboeck’s solutions for efficient, green events.