How the Meetings Industry Has Become More Paperless, Less Wasteful and More Efficient
By Eric Blanc President, ACOM | May 08, 2011
Having some type of green meeting practices in place continues to be an important area of focus for venues in the meetings industry, as a business with one of the largest environmental footprints. In order to successfully have an effect on global warming while reducing costs and saving their respective organizations money, convention centers, hotels and other venues continue to examine how to successfully make these changes-both behind the scenes of their events and in visible ways.
With innovative techniques being quickly accepted and practices updated from event to event, planners continue to look to their meetings partners as leaders in sustainability. It is becoming increasingly important to conduct business with organizations that are investing in eco-friendly products and services. To that end, the long-term benefits yield a significant return on investment.
Members of the Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM) recently shared their perspectives on green meeting practices and what their respective venues are doing to stay competitive in the marketplace.
Meeting Client's Demands
Many customers are expecting facilities to have green initiatives in place. According to David Dvorak, CMP, vice president of Catering and Convention Services at the Starwood Hotels and Resorts, he is continuing to see more and more of a demand for green meeting practices from clients especially in the RFP process. "Having green meeting practices, for many companies, is a point of entry," he said. "We have outlined about 20 sustainable meeting practices at Starwood that hit key areas that customers care about. Many clients won't even consider your venue unless you have these practices in place."
Tiffany Hoambrecker, green meeting liaison and associate director, convention services at VISIT DENVER, indicates these types of requests vary depending on the sophistication level of the meetings sustainability efforts. "We see everything from simple requests such as 'Do you recycle?' to more advanced questions such as 'What is your diversion rate?'" she said. "The exciting thing is that meeting planners are asking the questions."