Isn’t it great when “doing the right thing” can show off your
organization in its best light, ease the workload for staff and volunteers,
and save you some money as well?
Recently I’ve had a small role in helping to organize the annual conference for a not-for-profit professional
association. In the current economy, obviously,
every nonprofit organization has a pressing need to trim expenses and our group is
no exception. And by bringing down the costs of putting on the event, registration fees can be kept at a level that's affordable for the participants.
Going over the event budget, line by line, one item stood out
as an easy opportunity to realize significant savings: the hefty cost of
printing and mailing registration forms, confirmation letters,
handouts, and other conference materials.
Going green can save you green. By utilizing technology
for all communications, an event with 250 attendees can save you
approximately $1,100 by using on-line registration, email evaluations
and speaker handouts at the conclusion of the program.
~ Association for Green Meetings & Events
Our planning committee decided to set up an online registration
system for the conference, and to organize as much as possible by email
and telephone. Participants will be encouraged to download handouts as
PDF files from the association’s website, although printed versions
will still be available by request. These few measures are expected to cut the
printing and mailing costs for the event by 65% or more.
And that’s just the beginning.
For future conferences, the association will be taking advantage of many other opportunities to
“go green,” conserve energy, reduce waste, and save money, too — from
the selection of venue, accomodations and suppliers, to organizing transportation
and after-meeting entertainments, to greening our choices in food and beverage service, and more.
Could greener meetings pay off for your organization?
When events are organized and conducted to take environmental
considerations into account — “green” or “carbon-neutral” events — a
cash-strapped nonprofit can reduce expenses and staff time, increase
efficiency, and demonstrate to members and supporters that the
organization is socially and environmentally responsible. That’s quite
a pay-off for doing the right thing.
Here are some useful resources for planning greener events:
What’s your experience?
As organizations of all kinds become more
aware of environmental issues, and of the potential for cost savings
through various kinds of conservation measures, are you starting to see changes in how the events you're attending are
organized and conducted?