Climate change is the pressing concern of our time – and for venues, sustainability is an issue that can impact their bottom line as well as the environment.
Event bookers are looking for greener venues but creating a greener event experience can be challenging. Here are a few ideas to make your venue greener.
1) Hybrid events
A typical car journey releases 180g of carbon per kilometre. Where feasible, your venue should encourage the use of public transport or bicycles to reduce their carbon footprint or provide a shuttle service for delegates.
Hybrid events have been a necessity in the last year or so but are growing in popularity thanks to the fact that delegates can take part without the stress and travel time.
Consider pivoting and offering more hybrid events as an alternative to travel, using rapidly evolving collaboration technology to make the most of the virtual experience. However, remember to emphasise the benefits of being there in person – those fortuitous chance meetings that spark innovation and collaboration, for instance. This will protect your on-the-day revenues such as catering.
It’s a good idea to look at your supply chain – use green couriers and switch to local caterers to reduce carbon emissions.
2) Save energy
Venues can waste tremendous amounts of energy in ways ranging from using outdated IT equipment to the heating and lighting of rooms. This can be easily remedied.
Move to use renewable energy sources. Invest in LED lighting and automated systems which turn the lights out when people leave the room.
Look into solar heating and toilets which use recycled water. These initiatives not only save energy they save money too. Some venues such as the Crystal in London have utilised ground source heating, in combination with other initiatives, to reduce their heating bill to zero.
When it comes to your IT and venue management software, consider cloud-hosted options such as Rendezvous. Having your data hosted elsewhere means you don’t have to invest constantly in updating hardware – and you save the energy of running a large server on your premises.
3) Reduce Waste
The University of London found that a single conference attendee can generate up to 1.89kg of waste each day they attend an event, a worrying 1.29kg of which goes directly to landfill. That is a huge amount of greenhouse gases.
Left-over food, thrown away goodie bags and crumpled agendas can all take their toll on the environment. Using event management software can help to minimise waste because it is constantly up to date – cancellations or changes in attendee numbers are reflected in reports immediately and catering levels can be adjusted.
In addition to having an effective waste management policy, changes need to be made at an operational level – think about catering on an individual scale and have systems in place that reduce guesswork and waste. Offer more vegan dishes to lessen the impact of food production.
4) Be proactive on plastics
Ban the use of single-use plastics. Rather than dispose of mountains of plastic waste, use crockery and metal utensils which can be washed and reused forever. If you must use plastics, then look for biodegradable options.
Provide filtered water rather than bottled and ensure that if food is arriving in packaging that it can be easily recycled.
5) Eliminate paper-based processes
From printing manually-typed function sheets to generating reports and using paper diaries or processing paper contracts – it can easily add up to a number of wasted resources over time. In addition, there are environmental concerns in the production of ink which typically contains petroleum-based compounds. Not to mention the “hidden” costs both environmental and financial of maintaining printers and photocopiers.
The overarching benefit of using venue management software to handle function sheets etc is operational efficiency. Unlike paper versions, they are constantly updated in real time, and accessible online all times to everyone involved in the event, which makes co-ordination easier.
6) Digitise everything
Where possible look at how technology can help you.
From running hybrid events to automating heating and lighting to replacing paper-based processes with a venue booking system there are many ways to create an efficient and ecologically friendly venue.
Eliminate the printing of programmes and agendas and use digital signage instead. Move from paper-based contracts to using e-signatures.
How a venue booking system helps
A venue booking system can help in several ways:
Reducing food waste – A dynamic venue booking system will manage catering orders based on the actual number of event attendees and minimise the impact of any last-minute client cancellations.
Cutting the paper mountain – banish paper-based function sheets for good. A venue booking system will provide all the detailed event milestones you and your staff need when they log in. Function sheets can be emailed to caterers and service teams when required.
No more reams of reports – replace reports with accurate real-time onscreen dashboards. Highly graphical, they can be drilled down upon easily and provide key management information than paper ever can. Look at occupancy levels and see how you can save on, say, lighting and heating.
A digital delegate experience – from digital signage to visitor management, a venue booking system is a key integrated component. Agendas and room changes can be fed automatically to the digital signs. Visitor badges can be printed on an on-demand basis and maps and QR-based access passes are emailed automatically to delegates.
An efficient paperless order process – integration between the venue booking system and e-signature software ensures that the process of signing and receiving contracts can be achieved in seconds with no need to ever print a file copy as it is all saved in the system.
Cost and energy efficiencies – a modern cloud-based venue booking system requires no expensive servers to run and is maintained by the vendor. As it can accessed anywhere from the internet it is a great tool for staff working from home.
Technology such as a venue booking system is a great addition to your toolkit when it comes to tackling climate change.
In addition to helping to reduce unnecessary food wastage, it eliminates paper, arms you with the management information you need to make changes for the better and uses affordable low energy cloud technology.
And it really is a win-win. Because while these measures are great for the environment, they are also a great boost for venues looking to improve their overall efficiency.
Check out our video from the Union Club to discover first-hand how they have fully digitised their operation with the help of Rendezvous.