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5 Tips to Make Your Meeting and Event Venue More Sustainable


Wondering how to make your meeting and event venues more sustainable? In this article, we dive into the topic and share 5 tips for making your meeting and event venue more sustainable.


It’s a big buzz word in events and meetings, especially for venues and their implementation of “green” practices. But eco-expectations have shifted—not only for general consumers but for the event and meeting attendees too. A few paper or glass recycling bins placed around a venue aren’t enough to satisfy the needs of responsibility-minded planners and guests.

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The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) recently released a report that defines trends for destinations and venues in the event industry to improve their sustainability initiatives. The report defines a sustainable venue as a “place that actively accounts for the current and future economic, social and environmental impacts of the event and tourism industry while engaging and listening to the needs of the host communities, visitors, the industry and our living planet.”

Drawing upon practices adopted by the top sustainable business events and tourism destinations identified in the report, here are five tips to make your meeting and event venue more sustainable.


1. Adopt sustainability as a core mindset

For a venue to successfully embrace sustainability as a core mindset, it has to be encouraged and supported by leadership throughout all operations.

Without wide acceptance, venues will be hard-pressed to answer these increasingly asked tough questions or RFPs requirements:

  • Does your venue have a sustainability policy?
  • Has your venue achieved any sustainability or green certifications, such as IACC Green Star, LEED, Green Key or Green Globe?
  • What measures are in place to conserve water and energy
  • How does the venue reduce waste and encourage recycling

2. Reduce your venue’s paper trail

To become “greener,” many meetings and events have already shifted away from traditional paper-based flyers, event programs, and directories.

The same concept applies to venues too. Digital marketing and communications are sustainable, eco-friendly and streamline internal processes. One sustainable idea venues can embrace are the use of digital floorplans, immersive walkthroughs and event virtual reality tools. Not only do these tools offer sustainable alternative overprint brochures and flyers, but they also allow clients to visualize exactly how their specific event will look in a venue space – an eco-friendly win for all!


3. Incorporate local, sustainable food and serving options

Whether a venue has an in-house food and beverage department or partners with preferred caterers, encourage and choose vendors who use locally and responsibly sourced ingredients.

Don’t forget about setting up water stations, and providing and using recycled or eco-friendly dinnerware in place of plastic dishes, silverware, and water bottles to reduce landfill waste.

4. Offer options for waste sorting and resource reduction

Plastic and paper recycling bins are mainstays for many venues. But what about other kinds of sustainable waste management – like that for food and water?

Increasingly, venues provide food waste compost bins and perform back-of-the-house manual waste-sorting, or donate leftover food to charitable organizations as part of the effort to keep food out of landfills and practice sustainable food-waste management. Venues are also retrofitting faucets or toilets to use less water, upgrading lighting or adding auto-on sensors throughout to reduce energy use, or even tapping solar or wind energy as renewable and alternative energy sources.

5. Upgrade ancillary venue details

While many sustainability practices focus on big details, don’t overlook the impact of small changes too. For example, the use of herbicides, pesticides and heavy-flowing water sprinklers outside the venue may quickly undo all other adopted sustainability practices.

Take stock of these often-overlooked items and remove or replace as part of a long-term sustainability focus:

  • Eliminate the use of toxic weed control chemicals on landscaping and incorporate more environmentally friendly options
  • Keep watering to a minimum by planting drought-resistant trees and shrubs or native plants
  • Check and replace the seals of facility windows and doors to prevent heating and cooling energy loss
  • Institute a “no idling” policy at the loading dock to minimize emissions from vendor trucks and delivery vehicles
  • In the bathrooms, replace paper towels with air dryers, or use metered soap dispensers to keep waste to a minimum

With more planners and attendees conscious of green practices and eco-initiatives, a venue that adopts and embraces sustainability practices serves to benefit both Mother Earth and the bottom-line.

Learn how Prismm’s digital planning platform helps venues become more sustainable through digital layouts and setups and reduce carbon footprints by eliminating the need for in-person site visits.

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