Green Meeting Tip – Choosing the Venue for Your Conference

Choosing a green venue or hotel to help in your green meeting and event planning plans has never been easier. In fact, what meeting and event planners are finding is that many hotels are in the process of establishing green initiatives on their own.

When looking for a venue or hotel that fits your green event and meeting planning needs, the first step is to simply ask. With many properties, meeting and event planners are finding that the venue’s initiatives actually go way beyond the steps that the planner has already undertaken or are planning to adopt.

But what do you do if a venue or hotel does not have an initiative of their own or does not offer the services that you are looking for? Should this happen, negotiate them into your contract. Some meetings and events carry the weight to make a property make significant changes, but meetings and events of any size will find that most properties are willing to work to make meetings a little greener. If a property or venue is unwilling to work with you and reasonable requests regarding hosting a green event, find a new one. This is an indication of how they will treat your group as a whole.

Here are some green meeting initiatives that venues and hotels are now implementing and that meeting and event planners should look at when producing their next event:

  • A towel and bed linen re-use program.
  • Low flow shower heads in sleeping rooms, spas, workout and pool areas.
  • Programmable thermostats allowing attendees to be comfortable when they are in the room and use less energy when they are not.
  • Water and condiments served in bulk rather than in single serve containers.
  • The use of environmentally friendly cleaning and personal products such as shampoo.
  • Recycle bins in common areas, meeting and sleeping rooms
  • Energy efficient light bulbs and room lighting systems equipped with motion sensors.
  • Environmentally friendly service ware, cloth napkins, 100% recycled paper napkins and boxed lunch containers.

All of these items may seem trivial, but the water saved by linen reuse programs is enormous, the amount of plastic not  dumped in landfills by serving water in bulk is simply staggering, and the carbon emission  reduction by simply having the  lights switch off when there is no one in the room boggles the mind.

Your 40 person meeting may not have that great of an impact alone, in fact it is actually very small, but if you multiply the  energy, waste and water savings across every meeting planned in the United States this year, you can now begin to see the  impact that meeting and event planners can have in protecting our future.

From Feb 08

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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