Going green doesn’t just mean tossing your plastic in a recycling bin. Online searches for sustainable products have risen by 71% over the last five years. 66% of shoppers consider a business’s sustainability before making a purchase.
When you are planning an event, you have to consider sustainability. You must take steps to conserve resources and leave a positive impact on the environment. An easy way is to create a truly sustainable event.
What is sustainability, and how can you educate clients and guests about it? What materials should you use in your event? Where should you locate your event?
Answer these questions and you can create a fun yet environmentally friendly marketing event. Here are three tips you should follow.
1. Educate Your Guests
Many people are not aware of what environmental sustainability means. They may know about climate change, but the concept of sustainability may seem technical or remote. If you want your event to be truly sustainable, it should have an educational component.
Run Company-Wide Initiatives About Sustainability
Your event should be one initiative out of many that your client runs to increase their corporate sustainability. Workers should receive regular training and advice on good sustainability practices.
Ask your client to run a series of small events leading up to your big event. You can give your event a theme like conserving water resources. The client can then run talks about how climate change affects oceans and riverways.
You can encourage workers and the event staff to put the concepts they learn into practice through games. You can ask them to bring reusable water bottles to work so they don’t use plastic water bottles. The department that relies on reusable bottles the most can win a prize.
Don’t have your initiatives be purely internal. A client can encourage their customers to perform sustainable practices through giveaways. You can have customers compete to design reusable water bottles, and the one with the most creative design wins a free product.
Host a Conference
If you’re really interested in educating the public, you can run a sustainability conference. You can invite thought leaders in your client’s industry to come in and talk about sustainability.
If there are only a few sustainable companies in the industry, you can think broadly. You can invite political activists, researchers, and grassroots organizers to talk about sustainability.
You can partner with companies in other industries to sponsor the conference. Partnering with local schools can allow you to use their resources, and you can expand your customer pool to a younger demographic.
Post Educational Materials Online
Whatever event you decide to host, you should market for it online. You won’t be wasting paper or plastic producing your marketing materials.
But you shouldn’t just post promotional materials. People do not want to follow Facebook or Twitter accounts that churn out ads. You should make posts that build your client’s credibility and encourage people to come to an event.
One easy way to do both is to post educational materials. Find some reports from government agencies and think tanks about sustainability. Post links to them with short comments that summarize their findings.
If your client relies heavily on visuals, they can share infographics. You can also share photos that display the benefits of sustainability, such as cleaner rivers. Talk to a digital marketing team before you start posting photos, as you need to make sure they are high-quality.
Feel free to write some emails for your client as well. Writing emails provides space to offer your client’s perspective and thoughts about the environment. You can share suggestions about how many companies can become more green, which will establish your client as a thought leader.
2. Think About Your Materials
You use resources without thinking about it. Even as you sit here reading this post, you rely on electricity that may come from fossil fuels.
At a public event, your guests may be using dozens of kinds of materials. If they pick up a brochure, they are using the materials of the brochure and the materials that were used to create and print the brochure. You must be careful and think about all of the materials that go into your event.
Rely on Sustainable Energy
Whenever possible, your event should be run off of renewable energy. Solar, wind, and water energy are resources available for all events.
Many venue spaces are adding solar panels to their roofs, and you can rely on electricity from the panels during your event. You can also rent batteries that contain renewable electricity and use them.
You can have fun with sustainable energy. You can set up bicycles or seesaws that create electricity when someone uses them. A guest can charge their phone by plugging it in and using the device.
Even if you are using sustainable energy, you should try to conserve your energy use. You can use motion-activated lights that will shut off once a room is unoccupied.
Rent Your Equipment
Buying your own chairs and tables is extremely costly. It will also hurt your event’s environmental footprint. You should always rent chairs, tables, and decorations from a local company.
When you need to buy something, buy products without PVC plastic. PVC plastic has toxic pollutants like vinyl chloride and dioxins. It is extremely difficult to recycle, so you should only use it if you have no other options.
Avoid Single-Use Plastic and Paper
Single-use plastic objects like cutlery and bags are the biggest waste items from public events. Manufacturers rely on fossil fuels to create 98% of single-use plastic items. The majority of single-use items go in landfills or waterways, where they can damage habitats and choke fish.
If you are going to serve food at your event, you should try relying on metal cutlery that you can then wash. If you want to hand items out, you can use tote or canvas bags instead of plastic ones.
Don’t forget about paper. Landfills received 17.2 million tons of wasted paper and paperboard in 2018. Keep tickets, brochures, and worksheets digitized so you don’t have to print sheets out.
Get Locally-Sourced Food
The more local your food is, the less energy you have to burn to transport your food. Talk to a local farm or catering company and ask them to supply food for your event.
Try to serve as little meat as possible. Meat production requires a significant amount of land, water, and energy. Vegetarian and vegan options are more sustainable, and they are healthier for your guests.
3. Find a Great Venue
You should always read a guide to finding the ideal location before any marketing event. You want a venue that is big enough to accommodate all your guests, but not so big that you waste money on extra space. You should consult with other marketing professionals about your options for venues.
Set the Scene
The venue you select should speak to the event you are trying to run and the brand of your company. For a conference, you can select a college or library.
Selecting an outdoor venue is an easy way to remind people about the environment. Yet you should be aware of the impact of your experiential marketing event on the venue. If you set your event up in a park, you need to provide recycling bins so your guests don’t litter.
You can also do something for the environment with the proceeds of your event. You can plant trees or flowers in the park you hosted your event in. You can ask your event staffers to pick up trash or clean a nearby waterway.
Place Your Event Near Public Transportation
The less energy your guests use, the more energy your event saves. Try to find a venue that is near public transportation. You can set your event up in a park near a train station, or you can place tents by a bike path.
Don’t provide free parking. This will encourage your guests to bring their cars to the event. You can give discounts to people who organize carpools or walk on foot to your destination.
Create a Fun and Sustainable Event
A sustainable event can help the environment and your client alike. Plan an event that has strong educational components. Encourage your client to run small internal events so environmental knowledge becomes strong.
Minimize waste by using renewable energy and avoiding plastic. If you serve food, you should partner with a local restaurant.
Your venue will set the tone for your event. Find a location that bases its operations around sustainability and allows your guests to plant trees or recycle.
Planning any event can be tricky. Auctus Agency has a network of more than 50,000 experienced marketers. Contact us today.