If you are involved in the event industry, you have probably googled something like “Trends in event management” or “Future of events”. Many sources would include sustainability and wellbeing on the list. Sustainability isn’t a new concept, but nevertheless many event organizers don’t pay enough attention to sustainability aspects during the event organization process. Wellbeing isn’t that popular among event organizers, but it can also help to organize a unique and memorable event.
What does “sustainable event” mean?
There are two main aspects of sustainability, which event organizers should consider: reducing the impact on the environment and benefiting the society. The term “society” includes all the stakeholders of the event, for example, attendees, event organizing team, local community, etc. The International Organization for Standardization has already created a standard for sustainable events - ISO 20121.
Sustainability should be especially considered by small and medium-scale events, because it helps to make an event trustworthy, attract more attendees and sponsors, reduce risks, including the financial risk. Let’s give an example: a music festival takes place in the park. There is a risk that after the festival the park will be full of garbage, which would disappoint the local community. No worries, there is a solution. The waste is separated, the plastic usage is reduced by providing reusable dishes and cups. By the way, involving an element of fun into boring waste separation might help. It is also desirable to organize public transportation to decrease the environmental pollution. In order to facilitate more responsible behaviour, information signs are designed. The food is provided from the local restaurant, therefore, the costs of transportation are reduced. Additionally, a sustainable music festival might attract the local restaurant to sponsor an event and offer discounts on catering. Overall, turns out it isn’t that complicated to organize a sustainable event. In many cases it actually brings both environmental and economic advantages.
Major events shouldn’t ignore a sustainability trend as well. In a long-run even the biggest events can lose their attendees, because of forgetting about the sustainability aspect and relying on the popularity of the event only. Forward-thinking event organizers should definitely become more respectful of the environment and society, and implement sustainable solutions in their own events.
How to improve the wellbeing of event audience?
Over the last few years people became more attentive to their physical and mental health. Global wellness industry is rapidly growing in many sectors, including tourism, real estate, workplace wellness. An event industry should adapt to this shift as well. It is possible to make two simple actions to improve the wellbeing of the event attendees.
First of all, start with an event schedule that balances the workload, includes time for relaxation, reflection or meditation. Coffee breaks and networking time might be stressful, some people need time to stretch, exercise, go outside or just to be alone.
Secondly, find a venue and catering company that can help to implement a mindful event. For instance, a good venue should have comfortable seats, lighting, quiet zones for relaxation or meditation. Catering company should offer healthier meals with vegetarian, vegan, lactose- and gluten-free options.
Does it still sound like useless expenses? Similar to sustainable events, wellbeing aspect makes an event more interesting for sponsors and partners who share the event's vision. These events create new opportunities for sponsors engagement. Finally, wellness attracts new attendees and increase the loyalty.
Sustainability and wellbeing are the future of events. Nonetheless, some event organizers still consider them impractical, costly and hard to apply. Don’t panic, nobody asks for a zero-waste and stress-free event immediately. Even small actions can bring significant results, so don’t hesitate to act as a pioneer in sustainability and wellbeing of the event industry.
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