Toby Heelis is the CEO of events management company Eventopedia. He has spent the last 20 years operating and marketing event venues. As cofounder of a PR platform in 2001 and an events-based private club in London, Toby developed his passion for technology and digital marketing. He has refined his experiences as marketing director at the leading large event venue in London, The Brewery.
4 Ways to Leverage Technology for More Sustainable Events
The year 2020 is almost here, and one of the most urgent issues across all industries, including events, is sustainability. The events sector is gradually learning to take an integrated approach to organizing more earth-friendly events, taking into consideration the full range of relevant aspects, from waste reduction and recycling to resource use, transportation, choosing a sustainable venue and suppliers, and more.
One way to boost event sustainability is by using available technology, as well as being open to embracing upcoming technological changes. The events industry is already employing various forms of technology, such as using digital promotion strategies, that have the side effect of also reducing paper use.
However, with technology advancing, the possibilities are constantly increasing. Here are four forms of technology that are changing the events landscape, while also promoting sustainability:
Apps are everywhere, and their potential is virtually endless. They’re also one of the easiest types of technology to adopt, helping organizations not only make their events more sustainable, but also improve efficiency.
Many apps can help with the event planning process (creating task lists, tracking progress, setting deadlines etc.) while also replacing paper use. Apps can also be used for carpooling for attendees, reducing the negative impact of transportation.
Event apps are a great way to also promote sustainability in a variety of ways:
- Reducing paper by having all the event information digitally in one place that’s also easy for guests to access
- Live streaming functionalities can increase the number of remote attendees, reducing transportation and overall carbon footprint
- Using e-tickets/passes reduces paper use
- Digital food menus can replace paper menus
- Using badge scanner functionalities can replace business cards, and they could also include e-brochures, digital freebies and other info, further reducing paper.
Green Resource Technology
Venues are increasingly using technology that helps them use resources more responsibly. These can be used for simple solutions such as sensor water-saving taps or lighting systems, as well as more complex mechanisms for measuring and reducing resource consumption.
Solar electricity panels are a great way to leverage technology for green energy, reducing your carbon footprint. Other tech includes solar benches and charging stations, and even energy-generating pedestrian walkways, which turn footsteps into energy.
In today’s digital age, data is everywhere, and data analytics software can help organizations leverage it to the full potential. Event apps, sensors, and tools that measure resource use and carbon footprint are all great ways to generate useful data for more eco-friendly events.
Real-time data can help organizers take a proactive approach with their current event, while historical data can help improve sustainability in the long run.
Virtual reality technology is constantly evolving, and we have yet to see the full potential it has for sustainable events. So far, it’s being leveraged to reduce transportation in various ways:
- Boosting the popularity of hybrid meetings and enhancing virtual attendance capabilities
- Enabling virtual product demonstrations with a simple VR headset, especially useful for large products/equipment that is complicated to transport to the event
Consumers are asking for eco-friendly practices and businesses are listening, so we are looking forward to seeing how further developments in technology will keep enhancing sustainability for the events sector.