3 Popular Green Event Mistakes NYC Event Planners Should STOP MAKING

March 21, 2018 Susan Douglin

Are you one of the NYC Event Planners who thinks that Green Events are more expensive?

Well, you aren’t the only one who thinks so.

Yes, it’s true that NYC Event Planners can save some coins by going green, some sustainability plans can be costlier in various cases, but they are definitely worth the investment. To avoid translating these expenses to attendees (let’s just hope they appreciate that) here are some of the mistakes you might be making, along with suitable strategies you can implement to help keep your green event in the black.

3 Popular Green Event Mistakes NYC Event Planners Should STOP MAKING

1. Starting Too Late

Your budget proposal has been approved. You’ve booked the venue. Your agenda is locked. What about the green end of the event? Since sustainability is still a fairly new concept for events, it’s quite common to leave it for the end of your planning process. The disadvantage in this approach is that it decreases the value that sustainability presents. By putting sustainability at the forefront of your planning process new possibilities will open. some of the frustrations NYC Event Planners often experience when starting too late is not getting that they want.

Start sustainability early:

  • Boost technology. Can you increase customer or member engagement by adding new event tech and remote attendance opportunities?
  • Lock in sponsorships. Search for sponsors that are all about sustainability to increase your budget and abilities.
  • Plan local meetings. Consider the best location to meet locally and decrease the time people have to spend away from their families, transportation costs, and in-person attendance.

2. Putting Practice Before Purpose and Process

When NYC Event Planners plan green events, it generates a bunch of long checklists. So long, that you will have checked off hundreds of boxes by the end of an event. It’s exhausting! When you stop watching exclusively at the trivial details, and focus on the actual intent of the process, suddenly the focus shifts to the actual event goal and your creativity begins to blossom.

Shift your planning focus:

  • Change recycling for packet-less. Instead of worrying about checking off the recycling box on your checklist, plan for a buffet that contains non-packaged butters and no polystyrene. In other words, place your attention on what will support less overall waste.
  • Measure your performance. Use those checklists as motivation to measure your team collaboration as opposed to a task list.
  • Change processes. Change toward more concise goals, team participation and action planning to accomplish goals and a stronger way to evaluate success. This resolve can be reiterated in human resource development, procurement systems, core planning processes, and reporting. Ultimately making the effort more operative.

3. Communicating Too Vaguely About Things We Don’t Understand

NYC Event Planners use a plethora of buzz-words when it comes to green events like: corporate social responsibility, zero-waste, legacy, carbon neutral, and much more. Nonetheless, they can occasionally mean entirely different things to different people. At times, we don’t appreciate the technical meaning of the words we use that have clear meanings. For example, we tend to mix up recycled content products with recyclable products.

Encourage transparency:

  • Be open to asking your vendors for their expert opinion. For example, consider the circumstances of the NYC Event Planners who pay an additional cost to use biodegradable service ware for events. The event planner then adds a note about this fee to his green event webpage to notify attendees. At lunchtime, an attendee screenshots an image of a landfill bin swarming with plates, cutlery and cups and then shares it out on social media with a hashtag that reads #wasteful citing. Now ashamed, the event planner turns to the caterer and demands to know why the service ware is not composted. Only to find out that biodegradable service ware cannot be composted locally, and has to be landfilled, and if the event planner wanted the service ware to be composted they would need to buy compostable items and not biodegradable objects.
  • Be crystal clear with participants. Manage their expectations during the early planning stages, going into detail about the level of sustainability for the event.
  • Greenwash your marketing campaigns. That means making sure you’re not using theoretically misleading info to make the event or event-related products seem more “green” (environmentally responsible) than they really are. This can vary from being unclear (like what is a zero-waste event anyway?) to missing proof (pardon me ma’am, but are those biodegradable badges tested to be composted?).

Have any tips or tricks on going green for NYC Event Planners? Tell us all about it!

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