Feb 05 2009

Profiting from Green Meeting Strategy – Beyond the Feel Good

Businesswire – According to a new survey by the AMC Institute, four out of five meetings in 2008 were “greener” than in 2007.   In addition, one-third of organizations planning meetings are willing to increase their expense budgets to ensure a greener meeting.

Good news indeed, but how effective are these individual efforts?  Are they making a measurable impact that you can see on your bottomline?

My Barcelona colleague Guy Bigwood, MCI’s Group Director of Sustainability Services, offers some compelling ideas and proven practices for helping associations draft and implement green meeting strategies with measurable outcomes.

To Guy green meetings is more about building a better business model than saving the planet.  Although as he is always quick to point out, that’s a pretty good reason on its own.  But let me have him explain….

You must use an effective framework integrating sustainability into every part of the event management lifecycle. An effective green meeting strategy includes:  education, supply chain management, measurement, marketing, certification and community action.

Draft a vision that defines specific outcomes and objectives. Establish clear KPI’s.  Identify roles and responsibilities for your association staff and your event supply chain.  And craft an implementation plan.

Here’s an example of an implementation plan methodology he has used for European Wind Energy Council, World Business Climate Change Summit, Copenhagen, UAE Environmental Ministry, Conama Environmental Congress, Madrid, and others.

If you have colleagues or volunteer leaders who still need a reason to consider such a strategy.  Here is a great presentation he gave in Lisbon at ExpoEvents recently.

Guy and his sustainability services partner Michael Luehrs (who between them have over 37 years of experience) write a blog that covers experiences, opinions, best practices and mistakes from the front line of sustainability and the meetings industry.   It’s called Less Conversation More Action – CSR and sustainability in the meetings industry.

And you can also catch Guy on an upcoming ASAE & The Center Audio Web Seminar on March 18th.  The session offers the following learning outcomes:

  • How social responsibility fits into the work of associations
  • Ideas for integrating established principles into your organization’s sustainability initiatives
  • How to make the business case for social responsibility and sustainability
  • Sample framework and roadmap for implementation
  • Tips and techniques for initiating/advancing social responsibility in your organization

So now you have at least two excellent resources for developing a green meeting strategy for your association or a sustainable business strategy for your meeting industry business.  Reach out to Guy and Michael to learn more.

About the author

Peter Turner

As MCI's Senior Advisor, Global Development Strategy, I help associations build and execute global growth strategies. Over the past 30 years I have served three associations (ASAE, MPI and IEEE Computer Society) as a leader of business, product and partnership development.

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