written by
Faisal Khan

How to host events sustainably in 2021

1 min read

I think we can all agree that the environment and sustainability are perhaps the most pressing issues we face. For this reason consumers are demanding that we host events sustainably in 2021, and it is a big reason why its a top 10 meeting trend of 2021 as well.

But first its important to understand what sustainable events are.

What are sustainable events?

Sustainable events are the practices that can be used entirely or in part to decrease the impact of your event on the environment.

It’s about making events Eco-friendly,

How to host events sustainably in 2021

Why are sustainable events important?

You may be wondering why you should consider to host events sustainably in 2021.

Well, here are a few reasons that may convince you.

  • As mentioned previously its an emerging trends amongst consumers and if you want to remain competitive, you should listen to them. A survey by the National Marketing Institute reported that 58% of consumers take into account a company’s impact on the environment when making a purchase decision.
  • Employees and consumers will only want to be associated with a company that reflects their values. So if you want to attract customers and talent, then sustainability is the way forward.
Importance of hosting events sustainably in 2021

Now that you know what sustainable events are and why you should host them, let’s look at at how to host events sustainably in 2021.

Work with the right partners.

The best way to host events sustainably in 2021 is to work with the right partners.

To make sure green practices are implemented in your event, for example recyclable name badges and paperless agendas, the vendors you work with have to be onboard with your sustainable initiatives.

The right partners to host events sustainably in 2021

Speaking of the right partners, the right destination is just as important.

Choose a Green Destination

If you want to host events sustainably in 2021, perhaps the most crucial decision you make is the destination. This includes both the venue and the city.

Many cities have a dedicated event sustainability planning department, which can make a huge difference.

Here are a few cities that are regarded the most sustainable in the world that could be great for your next sustainable event.

  • Copenhagen
  • Zurich
  • Glasgow
  • Reykjavik
  • Malmo
  • Stockholm
  • San Francisco
  • Singapore

You can also check the sustainability performance of cities.

Cities to host events sustainably in 2021

The venue you pick is a crucial decision when hosting a sustainable event. With Meetingselect you can filter to show only sustainable and green venues. You can also ask for details in your RFP for any sustainable certifications or initiatives.

Venues to host events sustainably in 2021

Distance and Transport

Distance and Transport can have a big impact on your events carbon footprint. If you want to reduce this and to host your events sustainably in 2021, then remember to keep distance and transport in mind.

How far is the airport and hotels from your event? The closer they are, the shorter the ride and the lower the carbon footprint.

Transport can also help when organising a sustainable event. Encourage your attendees to use public transport rather than individual cars. Better yet try and organise the commute from hotel to event.


Don’t forget about walk-ability. If your event is close to hotels and restaurants, then its even better for sustainability.

Remove waste and waste management

As you know events generate a huge amount of waste, so if you’re really committed to hosting events sustainably in 2021 then you need to have a proper waste management programme so you can start to remove large amounts of waste that is produced.

Here are a few things you can do.

  • Place recycling bins that are clearly marked for dry waste, wet waste, plastics, aluminium cans and so on.
  • Avoid flyers, leaflets and brochures that exhibitors or partners may want to distribute. You can go one step further and levy a green charge in the contract for those who still wish to do so.
  • Donate left over food to a food bank or shelter so it doesn’t go to waste
  • Go paperless. Send invitations via email or set up digital ticketing.

Here’s a list of some digital ticketing platforms that you can compare, and choose whichever one best fits your requirements.

Digital tickets

Event apps can also help remove waste by communicating information about the event and setting the agenda, instead of having flyers and brochures.

Follow these tips to get maximum event app adoption.

  • Get started early. Inform your event attendees about the event app a couple of months before the event to get widespread adoption of your app. Perhaps triggering an email or introducing the app after they register would be the best way as the event is fresh in their mind
  • Use your event app during registration. Showcase your event app early during the event. Use it as a check in tool. This forces attendees to download and use the app, increasing the chances of using them throughout the event
  • Let your attendees and speakers promote. Use these people as brand ambassadors to encourage other attendees to engage with the app and join the community.

To get the most out of your event app, follow these tips and tricks

  • User Experience is vital. Make sure attendees can navigate easily on your event app, its mobile friendly and that the styling remains consistent. To attract attendees to engage with your event app, you need to have relevant content. For example event information, schedule, agenda and FAQ’s
  • Send Notifications. Capture attendees’ attention with push notifications, before, during and after the event. Remember, they should be timely, actionable and personalised. Notifications could include things like weather forecasts, event updates and schedule adjustments
  • Personalisation. Speaking of making notifications personalised, there are other ways you can personalise the event app, and put attendees in the driving seat. Eventmobi can help with this.
  • Surveys, polls and reviews. Increase engagement with these tools. This will make your attendees feel valued, as they are able to be a part of the discussion and give their opinions.
  • Add Games. Include games and contests for your attendees. Gaming can be a lot of fun and a great way to take a break and recharge.
Event app

Here’s a list of event apps that could be perfect for your next sustainable event.

Sustainable Food and Beverage

Food and Beverage (F&B) is a big aspect of events. Which means to host events sustainably in 2021, F&B will be a significant part in any sustainability initiative.

Here are a few things you can do.

  • Make sure condiments are served in bulk
  • Your kitchen should compost organic waste
  • Meatless Menu - Plant based foods are more sustainable than meat. For example a pound of beef takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce. So it might be a good idea to have planet based menus and days to lower your carbon footprint
F&B will be important to host events sustainably in 2021

Use Technology

Different technologies are disrupting the industry, you can leverage these to host events sustainably in 2021.

Here are a few ideas

  • Consider virtual and hybrid events - Since events can’t happen in-person, virtual and hybrid events are a great way to not only connect and share knowledge, but also a great way to host sustainable events. It saves gas and waste. Here’s a guide to host a successful hybrid event. Looking for a venue? Well, Meetingselect can help, with over 500,000 locations listed on the platform.
  • Go paperless - Ditch paper and use digital guest lists, menus and agendas. The list could go on.
  • Data Analytics - Use historical data and build a waste management framework. Real time data can help manage sustainability as the event goes on.
  • Measuring Tools - Use technology to measure waste, electricity, water and carbon measures. Use this to improve in the future.
  • AR and VR - VR can be used to see products instead of taking up more event space and electricity.

This full guide that will help you utilise technology to create a sustainable event.



The environment and sustainability are important issues that need to be addressed. Not only are consumers demanding this but its also in our interest to do so from business perspective. Use these ideas to host events sustainably in 2021, and help solve the problem of climate change.

Click here to book your sustainable venue, and be one step closer towards your sustainable event.

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