Sustainable Corporate Event Production
The Bigger Picture
Sustainable corporate event production is more than just agreeing that everyone will travel in one car, or use paper plates and cups during the coffee break. To be truly sustainable you need to look at the bigger picture, and consider all of the following:
- Where will you host the event?
- Where will guests be travelling from and how?
- Choosing a sustainable technical event production supplier
- Is there a possibility of taking the event on the road to reduce delegate travel? What are the pros and cons?
- How long will the event be for?
- Can some of your guests login virtually, or do they all have to be present?
- Can you use off setting schemes to reduce your CO2 output?
Where Will you Host the Event?
When choosing a venue for your sustainable corporate event production, it’s important to look at their sustainable practises, as well as access via public or private transport. There are many venues that are striving to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing technology and systems.
Here are a few things to check off when making your venue selection:
- Do they use renewable energy
- What is their water supply – rainwater harvesting or mains?
- How do they enforce recycling and manage waste?
- Is public transport close, or is there enough parking to lay on your own EV shuttles?
- Are there electric vehicle charging points on site or nearby?
- Is their HVAC system (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) frequently maintained and eco-friendly. A heat recovery system is a pro, as it takes heat from one area to heat a cooler area within the building. In theory, the newer the system, the more efficient it should be.
- Is the building a smart building? A smart building uses less energy by automatically turning off energy in unused rooms.
- What is their laundry policy – this applies for venues that offer accommodation or any kind of table linens.
Where Will Guests be Travelling From and How?
When choosing a location for your corporate event, you need to consider how your delegates will travel from door to door. If you are hosting a large scale international event, the likelihood is that your guests will be catching a plane, a train or driving to get to you, maybe even all three!
While you can’t dictate their travel arrangements – certainly if they are paying/arranging for it themselves, you can offer advice, provide incentives, or research sustainable travel options on their behalf.
The alternative is budget dependent, but you can provide your own eco-friendly travel and transfers. For example, you could lay on a fleet of electric vehicles, or a coach to collect delegates from the airport or train station.
If the event is happening in a separate location to the accommodation – a two day conference for example – then EV transfers between the locations would be a suitable solutions to your sustainable corporate event production plan. You could even provide delegates with an electric scooter each.
Choosing a Sustainable Technical Event Production Supplier
To do sustainable corporate event production well, you need to cover all bases in terms of the suppliers you use. Start with you core crew, which for most corporate events is often the technical and catering department.
Let’s start with technical production. Technical production includes all of your AV equipment, set and stage, as well as virtual event production (we’ll come to the latter shortly).
For technical production, you need a company that can get creative with lighting, projection, AV, digital assets, set and stage. This is important because you want high impact without resorting to single use elaborate sets and printed artwork that will be disposed of after the event.
To have a company that understands your event production methods, can seriously enhance your sustainability. As a technical production company that works with companies worldwide to deliver conferences, exhibitions and corporate events, we are well placed to offer advice on this topic. Here are some solutions we offer to reduce the carbon footprint of your event:
LED Lighting is low energy and high impact. Most professional lighting is LED, which means you have a host of equipment at your fingertips. Moving lights, colour washes, profiles, LED panels are all core assets that will create a dynamic and vibrant look for your event or conference.
Projection over print is a massive sustainability tick, and it’s cost effective too. You can project anything onto a set, including your logo, video, powerpoint presentations and images. A combination of lighting and projection will ensure your event looks professional and engaging.
Screens and Tablets
Screens and tablets can be used for audience participation. With the right technology you can engage your live audience in polls, games and Q&As.
Mains and Temporary Power
Power management is a standard and very important requirement for any corporate event and there are two types power supply you can utilise depending on your event’s location:
- Mains power, which is the power supply connected to the mains within a building, street or venue.
- Temporary power, which is supplied by a generator.
It critical that the equipment you use does not overload the available mains power supply within the chosen venue. We use power distribution units to manage the power loads in most corporate event venues that operate on mains power. However, if you are planning an outdoor event or an event in a venue that does not have an adequate mains power supply, then you will need to rely on a temporary power source, such as a generator.
To keep your corporate event sustainable, you will need an efficient and clean energy generator that can handle the power load for all your AV equipment, as well as catering equipment and any other equipment that runs on electricity.
Is There a Possibility of Taking the Event on The Road to Reduce Delegate Travel? What are The Pros and Cons?
Why not consider if taking your corporate event on the road could be more sustainable than inviting hundreds or thousands of delegates to your event in one location. Obviously, this is a very generic point of view and the practicalities of hosting a roadshow-style event would depend on your event format and your audience.
We’re pros at this roadshow event format. For 20 years, we been travelling the world producing events for corporate clients, so we can give you a bit of an insight to the pros and cons:
- Less travel for attendees.
- Potentially a higher attendance rate due to less time required out of the office.
- More opportunities for face to face communication. Therefore higher engagement in the content and better security for sensitive information.
- Lower delegate travel and accommodation costs.
- Higher security levels in face to face
- Keynote speakers have to be available for a longer period and need to be able to travel to each event.
- Higher event production costs for running more than one event in multiple locations.
- You also need to find suppliers that mirror your sustainable ethics. Doing this for multiple companies is time consuming.
Other Considerations for Taking your Sustainable Corporate Event Production on the Road
If you are travelling abroad, you need to think about who the crew and suppliers will be at your event. For us, we have built a network of local crew and suppliers in countries worldwide, who understand the way we work and are reliable.
Where the talent is simply not as good as UK technical production, we fly out our lighting designers and crew to the event
For European events, transporting our own kit from the UK is often the best solutions, as we know it has been properly prepared for the event.
How Long Will The Event Be For?
The duration of your event will also have an impact on its sustainability success. For example, if you run an event over a longer period, will you be able to cover more content and reduce the need for further events? Or will a shorter event mean you produce less waste, use less energy and reduce travel between venues?
Can Some of your Guests Login Virtually, or do They all Have to be Present?
Hosting an entirely virtual event virtual means zero delegate travel and reduced emissions on venue and accommodation usage. So ask yourself, could you event work well online?
Virtual event production has come a long way and engaging an online audience is far more achievable. While the costs for virtual event production are greater, you remove the cost of travel and accommodation.
It’s important to remember however, that solely virtual events are not suited to every business activity, as there is a lot to be said for meeting in person. Therefore, a hybrid format may be a better solution.
Having the ability to connect with guests in the room and online is like having your cake and eating it. As well as presenting a higher engagement opportunity, hybrid events tick a lot of the sustainable events too.
Click here for Top Tips for Planning a Virtual Corporate Event
Can you use Off-Setting Schemes to Reduce your CO2 Output?
Off-setting schemes allow event planners, and any other organisations for that matter, to off set their carbon emissions against sustainable practises or investments. By working out the carbon emissions of your event using various free online calculators, you can offset those emissions through various schemes, such as planting trees or investing into a sustainable project. it’s definitely worth exploring for total sustainable corporate event production.
For more information, take a look at BP’s tool kit on How to Make Your Event Carbon Neutral.
What’s Next on the Sustainable Corporate Event Production Radar?
Hopefully you now have the bigger picture of sustainable corporate event production and its been helpful.