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Make Your Small Business Event Sustainable

Events are a great way to promote your small business, gather the community, and talk about interest areas. Many businesses are using events as a marketing strategy. And for good reason, they work and are linked to company growth! With growth anticipation, companies are spending time and money on events.  Half of companies spend 20% of a marketing budget on events, and companies are increasing the number of events held each year. 

For companies that are interested in and are promoting themselves as sustainable, events are a great way to both share sustainability strategies and implement best practices in waste reduction. Any company that is practicing environmental awareness can bring that same sense to events they host. 

Use the below tips and suggestions to make your event eco-friendly. 

Incentives for Public Transportation 

Provide incentives for attendees that use public transportation, walking or biking to attend your event. These transportation methods reduce pollution compared to the gas and oil necessary for driving to the event. 

Incentives can look like money off the event, free raffle tickets, a dollar off a drink or something similar. Get creative and find an incentive that matches the tone of the event. 

Be sure to share the incentive with the attendees on the invite page or email and remind them of it in any promotional marketing. 

Focus on waste

Be conscious about your waste and trash within the space you’re using. Often, events are in existing offices or locations with existing waste strategies. Make sure you are connecting with the space owner to determine waste options, locations, and any other requirements. If possible and if you have available pickup options, separate food waste from cups or utensil trash. 

If dishes, glass or silverware isn’t available for use as cups plates and utensils, consider getting compostable plates. Please be sure to mark them if you are using them and let attendees know to put them in the trash, not recycling. When putting up waste information or recycling signs, post up positive related messages. “Thank you for recycling.” “Your compostable plate has kept plastic out of landfills.” Tie eco-friendly items to their business importance (supporting a client) and greater importance (less plastic in landfills).  

If there is a speaker or an introduction, take one minute before to stand up and share where the trash and recycling are and any trash information. For example, if the plates are compostable, explain where to put them. If recycling is single stream, explain that option to attendees. Reducing waste in the environment is one of the most significant environmental impacts a company can have, because it reduces fossil fuel pollution and space needed for landfills.  Read this article for more on single-use plastics and why we should be reducing them.

Feature green vendors 

If you are hosting an event in a space where you need to bring vendors in, use vendors that understand environmental practices or can offer you a variety of waste strategies, organic food or similar eco-minded services. 

Many sustainable options for utensils, food or wine can cost more than traditional vendors. To keep price conscious, use a biodynamic wine in exchange for event sponsorship. Using sustainable vendors doesn’t have to be expensive if you use their products in exchange for promotion.  

Additional Sustainability Ties 

Promote your sustainable practices or business habits. An event that you’re hosting should feature your business, duh. Use this platform to explain, “We’re using compostable plates at this event, we’ve started doing it at all of our events and we estimate we’ve kept 315 pounds of plastic away from landfills since we started doing these monthly Q & As.” 

Ask for feedback after events. Survey attendees and ask what they thought of the speaker, food, or other options. Include the sustainable change you made and ask their opinion on it. Another way to do this in a survey is to ask for sustainable suggestions for upcoming events. “Survey” can be done on Instagram stories, a Facebook post or other avenue. Don’t feel tied to a form survey sent over email.

Curious to learn more? Chat with us free for 30 minutes.

Have a sustainability question? Ask and get it answered in an upcoming newsletter!

Eliza ErskineComment