Claudia van’t Hullenaar, Certified Sustainability Practitioner and Event Designer, describes the extra benefits of sustainable event planning

“It’s often forgotten, but sustainability also has a lot to do with risk reduction, process efficiencies and potential cost savings, because we need to look so closely at our supply chain. 

“As a buyer, if I do this, I’m already reducing the risk of any potential issues – because it’s making me examine my chain of suppliers more closely.

“And from the supplier point of view, this is an opportunity to differentiate yourself and potentially gain a competitive advantage in terms of cost savings and process efficiencies, this is a big, big, topic to think about. 

“There’s also the potential for innovation. As you look at how to incorporate or change things, it means you’re already looking at things differently. 

“Taking the example of catering. If I am thinking about sustainability, I’m not just looking for a nice meal that looks good. I will ask: ‘Where does the food come from (local or far) away?’ ‘Is it fresh produce?’ ‘Is it grown sustainably?’ ‘Is it organic?’ ‘Maybe there is an opportunity to visit wherever it is the food is produced?’ ‘Do we need so many courses?’

“And, from the buyer’s perspective, it’s about communicating it to the people who come to your meetings. By looking to do things differently and responsibly, you create a better brand experience.

“ And, you still delight your attendees, with the potential to change their behaviour at the end – something we are always looking for as meeting designers.”

Claudia will be curating educational content and leading workshops for Connections Meetings in Ecuador in July, which will explore sustainable development – one of the MICE megatrends identified by the German Convention Bureau’s Meetings and Conventions 2030 report. 

Claudia has award winning experience in corporate event sustainability, and serves as Leadership Committee Member of the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC, An Initiative of the Convention Industry Council).

To enquire about attending an upcoming Connections Meetings event, please contact me at [email protected]