Collaborate Global’s Ollie Biddle joins the calls for more sustainable thinking when planning your next event
However bad the pandemic was for the events industry, it forced businesses across the world to innovate and adapt, luckily these traits are the foundations of any good organisation.
The silver lining in and amongst the madness, was that it made agencies and organisations stop producing physical events. The days of ‘build it and bin it’ were forced to stop for over 12 months. What didn’t stop though was the magic of communication, communities and most importantly, connection.
Covid-19 changed the perception of what an event is and now it is up to us to carry that forward and make sure that we use the learnings from the dark days of lockdown about creating communities and conversation but not at the cost of carbon wastage.
When it comes to sustainability, it’s hard not to feel like it is another buzzword, another statement thrown into a company’s mission statement so that it can look good to its shareholders.
The challenge for the events industry is to act and be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
As a reader of Digital Event News, whether you know it or not, you are a part of the solution. The more that we grow confidence, skill, innovation and interest in virtual events, the more that we will be able to combine the basic business elements of running an event, to the hard-hitting social issues of today – such as the huge pros of speaking to a global audience from their home, with no travel requirements.
So, how do you make sure that sustainable isn’t just a buzzword that you throw out when your top client changes their CSR policy?
The truth is, we need to work together. There are fantastic organisations that have been set up in lockdown, most notably – Isla. It is an event sustainability tracking body that is looking to both teach the users (agencies and freelancers) how to produce events with a more sustainable mindset, whilst also creating a real carbon tracker that can be logged and used to help track new, measurable, sustainable metrics for the end client of the event.
As well as amazing people like those running Isla, it is up to you, me, the person on your team, your boss, their boss, the list goes on, to make small steps in communicating the powerful movement of more mindfulness when planning events.
We don’t have to set out tomorrow and move every experience into the digital space. Physical events will always house experiences that just can’t be replicated elsewhere. But, we can look to adopt better storage techniques in order to re-use sets, communicate with clients about the greater reach we can achieve with hybrid and keep innovating within the space to make the virtual experience better for the end-user.
Sustainable is going to be the word on the street for everyone in the events industry next year. You can choose to be the change that you want to see. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was the last Crufts 2019… But could you imagine the cost, time and carbon savings if that set was stored, re-painted and reused again?
I welcome the opportunity to chat and grow as a community.
You can find me on LinkedIn – Ollie Biddle @ Collaborate Global.