When I first started in the event planning business, the general belief was that more is better; numerous lavish gifts for attendees, five course meals, luxury transportation, top hotels, and long meetings with stacks of handouts. Although there are some instances where luxury is acceptable, in general, we are noticing that this is the exception rather than the rule.
How times change! It is exciting to see new trends develop and old ones drop off. As industry experts, it is our job to recognize “smart” trends and educate our clients and colleagues so that collectively we can create successful events.
Some of the “smart” trends I have noticed are:
Reducing Waste. As the public in general becomes more aware of the environment, it is more important than ever to have a venue that offers recycling. Additionally, the amount of paper that is used has been reduced dramatically, due in no small part to technology. We have seen clients hand out memory sticks with the information that their guests need, rather than printouts, or have a link to a website in which the guests can follow a presentation or seminar on iPads or laptops.
Healthy Choices. Instead of donuts, candy bars and soft drinks, we are now seeing juice bars, fresh fruit, natural teas and lots of lots of water (for which, pitchers are more popular than bottled water). The meals, in general, are healthier as well, with smaller portions and much less fat and cholesterol on the menu. Additionally, better choices for activities are the norm now. Instead of sitting on a bus for hours, guests would rather be active and participate in a physical challenge.
Giving Back. When possible, we ask hotels and venues to donate leftover food to a shelter or food bank. Extra supplies that cannot be reused are given to schools or day care centers. Team building often consists of doing something to improve the community or the people that live in it.
Clients, employees, and potential customers don’t like to see waste, or wasteful spending. While we feel that there is no replacement for the value of meeting face to face, we feel that there are ways to be smarter about it, and we are constantly watching for smart ways to do the same things we used to do, only better. Contact MYE today to start planning your “smart” event!