More people are concerned about the environment than ever before. That’s great news for businesses that want to target conscious consumers, but it’s also good news for their bottom line. After all, you also save money when you conserve energy and materials. Because of this increased awareness, we’ve also noticed a shift toward eco-friendly, zero waste events, which makes sense to us. If you want to scale back expenses and attract new clients at your next corporate event or conference, you may want to focus on its environmental impact. A zero-waste event, or “zeewee”1, is a clever and conscientious new option for industry conferences and music festivals alike. The term applies to any organized gathering that leaves no trace behind, and there are several cost-effective (and attractive) ways to pull this off.
Distribute reusable swag
Corporate events are great opportunities for brand exposure and one reliable way to reach every attendee is to hand out freebies. If you’re organizing a bag of “swag” for each attendee or deciding which items to accept from sponsors, stick to your zero-waste policy. Instead of paying for individually packaged pencils, bottle-openers, or printing out dozens of brochures and stickers, eliminate the plastic and paper waste altogether. Hand everyone a reusable grocery tote that they’ll use again. The exterior can fit dozens of logos and brand names, and this valuable exposure is worth the added expense of customization. Fill it with reusable and practical items, like coasters, cups, and notebooks made with recycled paper, instead of the usual generic souvenirs. If everyone’s on board with the zero-waste idea, your event’s freebies will be surprisingly useful and memorable.
Reuse your own materials
Folding tables and booth canopies are two conference fixtures that already get used over and over again. However, most corporate events also require new paper products and branded products every time they take place. Minimize these expenses by reusing banners, staff shirts, tablecloths, and even welcome signs. If you’re only using these items for one day or one weekend, it doesn’t make sense to throw them away anyways.
Offer waste services on-site
If your event is outdoors, keeping it waste-free will make cleanup easier and earn the venue staff’s trust for future events. If it’s indoors, you can still offer options that don’t fill up the garbage cans or clutter everyone’s pockets and purses. Place recycling and compost bins throughout the common areas, and provide garbage cans that are clearly marked for the landfill, encouraging guests to rethink their disposal method. Make sure everyone knows which items are recyclable and that they only use the compost bins for purely organic matter. Vendors and volunteers alike can use this as an opportunity to reach out to attendees, explaining the zero-waste policy and the convenience of zero-waste stations like the ones you’ve provided. If your event will have a big technological focus, you can even organize an electronics recycling drive. Many people don’t know what to do with old screens, phones, and other electronics, and it’s not usually safe or legal to simply throw them away. Collecting old electronics will also help you spread awareness and information about the importance of safe recycling methods.