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How Does Sustainability Fit into Your Association’s Meetings and Events?

Association TRENDS’ Learnapalooza event concluded with a hands-on boot camp hosted Jessica Lane of Community Brands. “Content Creator’s Deep Dive – Meeting the Needs of Multimodal” was the last session of the 2-day learning conference where attendees did just that. They deep dove into multi-modal content and learned what brand-new learning mediums might work for their organizations.

One topic that caused a lot of discussions was virtual events. In today’s technological society virtual learning options like e-learn courses and webinars are obviously a great tool to provide organization members. However, things like virtual happy hours, “lurk & learns”, and moderator assisted group discussions are also becoming more and more popular.

Virtual events have many benefits for association education providers. They can reach a wider range of audiences, offer more diverse education options, and as we learned in the boot camp, they are a great way to decrease an association’s environmental impact.

Of course, members of associations and nonprofits find great value in their live events. However, with the new push for environmental awareness and sustainability in the association space, there’s no denying their negative ecological effect. Skift published an article on October 3rd, “Producing Less Waste is Quickly becoming a Priority for Events Worldwide”. In it, author, Allen Leibowitz, dives into the meetings industry and steps that are being taken to reduce waste.

Allen writes, “The meetings industry has a huge environmental impact – from the millions of miles delegates have flown to attend events to the reams of paper squeezed into bulging delegate bags and the kilowatts of energy used to light exhibitions and displays around the world.”

Because of this, many events professionals are doing their best to promote how they are being more environmentally conscious. When meeting planners are preparing for live events they can ask vendors, hotels, and caterers if they have sustainability strategies or even request specific tactics they can take to reduce the impact of their specific event.

Additionally, letting members know the steps being taken to make sure that the environment is taking a front seat when planning events or even avoiding live events with more environmentally friendly options can be a great way to promote environmental importance to an organization. Get your members on board. Let virtual event attendees know how much they are saving by calculating miles saved, gas reduced, or paper conserved. Let live event attendees know that you’ve decided to go paperless or that you chose a vendor that’s LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified.

As a societal push for sustainability continues, there will be even more opportunities for associations and organizations to jump on board. Whether it’s working closely with partners to go green during live events and conferences or going virtual altogether, associations are continuing to make the environment a top priority.

To continue shrinking your own carbon footprint, check out Association TRENDS many e-learning programs and live webinars. Visit http://www.associationtrends.com/training to find something that fits your education needs!

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