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How to plan Green Events: A comprehensive strategy for Virtual events, Hybrid events & physical events?

As we all know, one of the main disadvantages of hosting an event is that they often produce massive amounts of waste, contributing to the already troubling amount of waste produced every year in most parts of the world. However, the year 2020 was the year of sustainable event practices as we switched from physical events to virtual events. Implementing eco-friendly approaches to host events has become the new trend in the covid era.
However, it’s impossible not to wonder, what will happen after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end? Will the new eco-friendly practices proceed in the post-covid era? Will the post-pandemic world be able to continue organising events that are both environmentally sustainable and beneficial for the participants?
The above stats given by Smart Meetings states that 60% of respondents choose to attend conferences “hosted in a sustainable fashion,” with 27% highly preferring it.
There is no doubt that the attendees can favour smaller gatherings with more physical space for “social distancing” even after cases and concerns decline. Activities involving any sort of direct physical contact—even shaking hands—are likely to be less common.
As people are choosing sustainable events over anything, here’s how to can host a successful green event and encourage more people to attend your event:
1. Host virtual or hybrid events: Virtual and hybrid events are a safe, accessible and sustainable alternative to traditional events. They generate less waste and emit less pollution. Virtual events have been the backbone of the event industry ever since the whole world was in lockdown. The virtual event enabled attendees to attend the events from the comforts of their homes while remaining protected from the deadly coronavirus.

Hybrid events are growing to become more important too, as they deliver the best features of both physical and virtual events. One of the most impeccable attributes of hybrid events is that participants can choose to attend the event in-person or virtually, reducing unnecessary crowding and waste production.
2. Avoid Print media advertising: We get it, in order to ensure maximum participation and registrations of attendees marketing is important. When it comes to an event, a strategic marketing plan can make a world of a difference. However, using banners, pamphlets, magazines, posters, billboards etc should be avoided as it generates an alarming amount of waste. Lucky for you, technology has blessed us with a more effective and environmentally conscious alternative i.e. digital media. We live in a digitalized world, where people turn to their phones, tablets or laptops for everything. This makes digital marketing even more influential and powerful. Sending E-vites instead of postcard invitations, Email & SMS marketing and social media promotion (paid or organic) instead of banners, billboards or posters are a couple of healthy changes you can make in order to make your event greener.
3. Decarbonise travel: Encourage the speakers, exhibitors, delegates, and all other participants to select zero-emission vehicles. Choosing electric buses, trains, rickshaws, and metros over fuel-powered vehicles such as motorcycles, cars, or autos can be a significant and impactful step toward hosting a sustainable event.
4. Eco-Friendly Dining: Nothing generates more waste than discarded leftover food and plastic cutlery. So for a hybrid event going for environmentally friendly dining options, such as biodegradable cutlery and locally grown produce, can help you significantly minimise waste generation. Go with fresh, healthy, locally sourced, compostable food. To avoid food wastage, plan smartly, choose products that are not individually packaged so that customers can serve exactly what they need rather than being required to take the whole packet.

5. Biodegradable Material: Another way to host a green event is to use biodegradable and eco-friendly materials for arrangement and decoration. Choosing recyclable products that are locally sourced is another great and eco-friendly option as it results in a lower carbon footprint.