Sustainability in the events industry is a trend that’s here to stay. Not only is it beneficial for the environment, but it’s also a major selling point for venues that want to appeal to younger audiences. Plus, there are some major benefits for event planners who book these kinds of event spaces. So the overall question is: What makes an event sustainable?
In this article, we certainly will bust some sustainability myths (including rumors around booking costs). Furthermore, we will provide a venue search checklist, and even suggest some great sustainable London event venues for you to choose from. Let’s dive in!
Demand For Sustainable Venues Is Rising
Did you know that in IACC’s 2019 report on the future of the global events industry, sustainability was ranked the #1 focus for venues? Most of the venues surveyed said they plan to incorporate even more environmentally friendly practices and systems into their businesses between now and 2024.
And in even better news, Skift reports that this growing trend will provide even more options for event planners in the immediate future. For example, a wide variety of event types on any budget.
Why Are Venues Prioritizing Sustainability?
And why are they in such a hurry?
The answer has a lot to do with the impact of Generation Z’s and Millennials. They proactively stance on climate change. In fact, 73 percent of Millennials are willing to spend more money on sustainable products, including events! This is why forward-thinking event brands plan to build relationships with younger audiences now before they become a major buying power in the marketplace.
In addition, the Financial Times reports that modern-day connectivity has companies across all industries thinking beyond their immediate region. This global movement shifts the focus from the individual consumers to the world at large. This impacts the design and construction of modern event venues as well as their future marketing strategies.
And then there are the savings benefits. One of the most common myths about planning sustainable events is that facility upgrade costs will make venues more expensive. In fact, but the exact opposite is true.
Venues that incorporate sustainability into their buildings and practices actually save money in the long run. Those savings are then passed on to event planners, so everyone wins!
3 Key Benefits Of Hosting Your Event At A Sustainable Venue
Besides leaving you with a little wiggle room in your event hire budget, you can count on the following benefits when you book a sustainable venue:
- You are actively helping thousands of species of animals as well as natural resources. Perhaps the biggest argument for the importance of environmental awareness is the impact your events will indirectly have on lifeforms that exist on Earth.
- Your business will more than likely grow. According to university research, businesses that adopt green initiatives can expect to collectively gain a “total of $26 trillion in economic benefits”.
- You can use it in your event marketing. As we’ve already mentioned, younger generations of consumers now prioritize sustainability in their buying choices.
How To Tell If An Event Venue Is Sustainable
The following must-have venue characteristics are provided by leading non-profits and research organizations in order to promote sustainability. Keep in mind that your event venue doesn’t need to have all of these features. However, you should prioritize the ones that have the most items on this list.
- They mainly use renewable energy
- Easy access to public or shared transportation
- Water and trash recycling
- Lots of natural light
- Controlled power and air conditioning usage
- Waste and laundry reduction policies
- Uses 100% accredited Green Power or energy-efficient LED bulbs for their lighting
- Focus on electronic over paper communications
- Prioritize the use of recycled or reusable materials for catering
- Has at least one official sustainability certification
- They have a minimum power usage plan for event set up and takedown
Are Sustainable Venues More Expensive Than Non Sustainable Ones?
Sustainable event venues do not charge more than nonsustainable ones for comparable features, layouts, and sizes. Similarly, with any other event venue, sustainable venues charge based on what they offer. They don’t charge for being environmentally friendly. It is worth noting that there are a variety of sustainable venue options. They are available for most event budgets even in metropolitan areas. You surely will find something that suits your get-together.
3 Great Examples Of Green & Sustainable Event Venues In London
These bookable examples of London’s best sustainable event venues showcase a variety of styles, layouts, and features worth checking out.
Church House Westminster
Price Range: £££
Top Sustainable Features:
- Large, arched windows provide plenty of natural light for the space
- Energy-efficient products and refurbishment practices
- Cleaning products that are almost exclusively biodegradable
The Church House Westminster is more than a historical venue. It has found ways to seamlessly incorporate modern sustainability practices into their gorgeous space. Besides the venue features, this sustainable London event space also incorporates green practices in their utilities, transportation, and daily business activities. From using recycled paper for all their printers to sourcing local produce for their event catering. As much as possible, Church House Westminster is one of the absolute best options for event planners looking for all-around sustainability excellence.
Location: Olympic Park
Price Range: £££
Top Sustainable Features:
- Partnerships with ethical producers for fish and meats
- Focus on locally sourced catering options
- Gifting high-end bicycles to community partners
It’s no surprise that you’ll find this gem in Olympic Park, a London neighborhood whose very legacy is sustainability. Their dedicated campus was built as a continuation of the green efforts made here. It shows Community impact is a large part of their mission statement. You can finde evidence in their passion for positive global initiatives (including sustainability). Book your next event here if you’d like to align your brand with this powerful movement in London’s leading sustainability sector.
Sadler’s Wells Theatre
Price Range: £££
Top Sustainable Features:
- Renewable energy usage, including LED lighting wherever possible
- Participation in a number of high profile sustainability campaigns and activities supported by WWF
- Active plastic waste reduction efforts
As a champion for the fight against climate change, the team at Sadler’s Wells Theatre works to promote sustainability practices at every level of their organization. They even have a 5-star Creative Green certification. This especially makes sense when you learn more about their comprehensive green action plan. From the way they distribute invoices to their staff hiring choices, this is one sustainable London event venue that is definitely changing our world for the better.
How To Use Your Sustainable Venue In Your Event Marketing and Communication
Once you have your sustainable event venue secured, it’s time to advertise your initiative to your audience. Be genuine and earnest without bragging about your good deed. The tips included here are practical for any marketing budget. They can be used regardless of what event type you plan to host. Just be sure to keep your your event brand’s unique voice.
1. Put out a call for sustainable event volunteers.
Even with your venue’s green amenities and features, there are plenty of ways to improve your event’s sustainability. Search for a little help from willing attendees. Use social media to request their time in exchange for a free ticket to the event.
Example: The organizers of the 2014 Commonwealth Games assigned some volunteers the role of “Recycling Ambassador”. It was their job to oversee waste management among guests and to help people learn more about green initiatives happening at the venue.
2. Add a sustainability speaker to your event agenda.
Corporate events in any industry can benefit from even a short presentation that show how one can be more green. If you’re planning a private event, remember to include some quick and thoughtful tips on how your guests can support your sustainability initiatives (putting trash in the correct bins, sharing cabs home, etc.) during your opening remarks.
Example: Sustainability Summit London has an inspiring line up of speakers. They cover topics such as global policies, ways to find sustainability partnerships, and even the effects climate change has on mental health.
3. Align with event sponsors who actively prioritize sustainability.
Choosing the right event partners and sponsors is a great way to show, not tell, your audiences what matters most to your organization. They can either sponsor certain sustainability extras or even create sustainability knowledge panels within the space to further educate your audience.
Example: This year’s TSC Summit has a sponsor list that reads like a Who’s Who list of sustainable brands in America. Find the companies that most align with your industry and sustainability vision. Afterwards appeal to them with some sponsor package options.
Ready To Book Your Next Sustainable Event Venue?
Now that you firstly know why sustainable event venues are so important and secondly how to choose one, it’s time to find some in your area. There might be more options than you think! Search for and discover sustainable event spaces. Sort by occasion, price, location, availability and more with Event Inc’s premier venue database.
Cover image: pexels.com