As sustainability starts to creep back up the corporate agenda, event planners are again looking to create more environmentally friendly events that reinforce and further promote their client’s green credentials.
From wearable tech and event apps to end-to-end management software, the latest technology is playing an important role in helping event organisers reduce their client’s environmental impact.
Everything helps, from ditching paper delegate badges; switching to fully online registration processes; video conferencing for international speakers, and mobile event apps to cut out printed maps, brochures, event guides and leaflets.
Below are just some of the platforms that can help event planners enhance their client’s environmental credentials.
You may have heard of it already but the power of Twitter is only now being fully realised in corporate events. The increasing adoption of social media throughout an event’s lifecycle is helping not only attract more delegates but is removing a lot of wasted paper.
Event-specific hashtags allow you to provide information in a much more dynamic way and of course it is a lot cheaper than sending out email bulletins or printed materials. Paper presentations, questionnaires, flyers, guides and other promotional materials can all be put online and shared much more widely.
Not only has Twitter made events more engaging, it has made them greener too. In an interview last year with Kerrin MacPhie, ICCA UK & Ireland Chapter Chair and Director of Sales at ACC Liverpool, said the expectations of delegates are changing in line with growing demand for the integration of social media. She said: “A key challenge is reversing old-school habits; many associations have been around for many years and are very successful, why reinvent the wheel? However, people are changing, the new millennial generation live their lives through digitisation and social media, emails are even seen as passé to this group. Immediate interaction is paramount so for the younger generations attending conferences, Twitter should be a staple ingredient. Not only at conferences but also social media platforms as a norm should be adopted in day to day comms for associations looking to grow.”
NFC-enabled smart badges are changing the face of exhibitions and corporate events. For many people, attending large conferences can be stressful. Wearable tech such as Loopd means delegates can focus on enjoying the event while the chip collects the data they will need, later pushed to an app for them to access. It takes smart badges to the next level, collecting data and offering attendees a huge number of benefits. As the delegate moves around the event, the chipped lanyard collects key data from ‘beacons’ positioned around the event.
Strea.ma is an exciting cloud-based platform that allows you to easily create your own Twitter wall by combining and displaying social media updates from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It allows you to promote your hashtag in real time during the event and encourage interaction on the day, to share the discussion, run polls and encourage further engagement.
Using video conferencing software rather than flying in keynote guests is a far greener approach to hosting international speakers. GoToMeeting, from Citrix Systems, is an online desktop-sharing platform that allows users to ‘meet up’ in real time. Although not billed particularly as events software, for conferencing in particularly, it would allow for high-definition video conferencing support for up to six users.
Insight Mobile is an award winning Brighton based native iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, Windows, Android and Web app development company that specialises in developing world class apps for a range of business sectors. Their solution allows delegates to easily access personalised apps for an event with all the relevant data they need. It goes beyond providing Wi-Fi log in instructions, venue maps and speaker programmes. They can save thousands of sheets of paper, cutting out the need for a lot of the associated paperwork that goes with an event. It can include real-time schedules, gathered contacts from networking, social media updates and more.
Slide deck presentations are re-energising the humble PowerPoint into shareable content. The popularity of slide hosting apps such as SlideShare mean you ditch cumbersome paper handouts and move to more succinct online versions that are engaging and insightful. Conferences have been publishing online for a long time but apps such as SlideShare take it to the next level, allowing contacts who were not at the event an opportunity to engage (and book for next year). SlideShare condenses information into visual bites that can be easily shared after an event.
Sustainability in the events industry is fast becoming big news again and will be increasingly important for event planners and organisers as it moves up the client’s agenda. Don’t be the one to miss out!