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8 ideas for a more sustainable event... but not more expensive...

Discover the reflection of Alicia Palanques from MUT Agency and our CEO Monica Bravo from Abile Corporate Events in the new article of @grupoeventoplus.

As an event professional, you know how important it is for your events to be increasingly sustainable (both to please your clients, your attendees... and to be conscious of the climate challenge). But you also know how difficult it is to meet tight budgets. So we bring you some simple ideas that you can implement and that will improve the environmental impact without affecting your wallet (or even reducing costs, what more can you ask for?).

We chatted with two agency professionals, Monica Bravo of Abile Events and Alicia Palanques of MUT Agency, with whom we had the opportunity to bounce crazy ideas about sustainability practices and their importance in the industry. The conversation inspired us and we hope to do the same for you with these few proposals:

8 ideas for a more sustainable event... but not more expensive...

1. Guests contribute give aways

Imagine, as part of the dynamics of the event, asking our guests to bring a book (or clothes, even household items!) to exchange with the rest of the attendees; an exchange area is set up where guests can deposit what they bring and take others. In this way, everyone shares, everyone contributes and everyone takes home something different that is of interest to them.

2. Promoting sustainable transportation

Encouraging attendees to use public transportation, bicycles or carpooling to get to the event is an excellent practice. You can encourage this by offering incentives such as ticket discounts, public mentions or giveaways for those who choose more sustainable transportation options. In addition, partnerships or sponsorships can be established with bike or rideshare companies to offer guests a tour of the city on their way to the event. This fun dynamic is sure to be a topic of conversation at the event and will get the experience started even before arriving at the venue.

3. Think about the donation... beyond the food.

It will depend a lot on the type of event, but you can always encourage your guests to donate something. For example, in an event to promote a makeup brand, you could ask attendees to donate beauty products they no longer use. This initiative would not only promote the purchase, it would also promote recycling or a foundation that would benefit from these products. The best part is that this idea can be applied to a variety of events, such as bazaars where you can donate clothes, kitchen utensils, shoes, bedding, and much more!

4. Partnerships with suppliers to make a sustainable and attractive brand experience.

Some hotels collaborate with organizers to promote sustainable practices among attendees. How do they do it? Through simple decisions such as proposing not to change towels or sheets daily, having gyms where pedaling generates energy, or teambuilding activities such as collections in the hotel's urban gardens. The twist comes from recognition: each of these actions awards vouchers redeemable at the bar, so guests can enjoy a free drink and socialize with colleagues. In this way, you support sustainability, recognize your guests and promote networking.

5. Dynamics that support local causes

We know it's not always possible to include all the sustainability practices we'd like to include in an event. Why not support sustainable organizations instead? You can organize a raffle to support sustainable causes, where the prize is a certificate to dine at a local restaurant committed to responsible practices. Attendees can participate through voluntary contributions. This initiative can support organizations or foundations with which the company collaborates or promote local talent and businesses, thus promoting the circular economy. This practice can become a hallmark of the brand and create a positive association by showing ongoing support for sustainable organizations.

6. Less material

Think about what you can take away or delegate to attendees. For example, provide tap water in glass bottles and encourage attendees to bring their bottles. This reduces costs by reducing the purchase of disposable plastic bottles and communicates the positive impact on reducing the carbon footprint. Or you can ask people to indicate at registration if they would like the attendee bag.

7. Raise awareness, it's free

Your event is a grouping of people and as such, a forum that you can use to raise awareness (ideally about your sustainable initiatives carried out at the event... but possibly about other topics). Make use of signage, it's a great way to motivate attendees and encourage them to take similar actions. You can display graphics illustrating the use of renewable energy, water saving, or waste reduction. You can also invite external partners such as foundations or NGOs, who will be happy to evangelize.

8. Set up creative dynamics for a sustainably fun moment.

There are many ideas that can be achieved, depending on the tone of your event. To list a few:

Sustainable ideas competition: Organize a competition where attendees present their ideas to make the event more sustainable. The best ideas can be implemented in future events, and then have a bank of applicable ideas.

Recycled costume contests: Organize a fashion show where attendees create costumes from recycled materials. Offer prizes for the most innovative and sustainable designs. This is not only fun, but also raises awareness about reusing materials.

Alternative energy workshops: Offer interactive workshops where participants can learn and experiment with different forms of alternative energy, such as building small wind or solar generators.

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