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Green Corporate Events

So here are Nathalie's tips:
LOCATION Pick a location that's close to where your guests are going to be. So try and find a hotel that's walking distance. Or, if that's not possible, arrange a shuttle to help pool people. It fosters community too!

LOCAL If you're buying stuff for your event (tablecloths, notebooks, food, etc) try and source them locally. There are more and more eco-friendly companies that provide these types of services in Quebec. In the video, Nathalie shows me some notebooks made of 100% recycled paper. They're from local company Rhinoferoce.

For loads of phenomenal ideas for promotional products including these cool 100% cotton bags, check out a local Montreal company called Petites Mains. It helps new immigrant women and others who are marginalized to integrate into society. They make a bunch of different things ranging from bracelets to bags and polar sweatshirts that are just begging to be customized with your company's logo (they do that too!)

Keep your event free of those awful little plastic bottles. The water in them isn't regulated and costs more than gas (even at today's insane prices!). Simply use pitchers and glasses. And if you use glasses, this could be a great way to promote your company as well with strategic logo placement. For outdoor events, Nathalie suggests getting your logo onto sports bottles (of the Nalgene variety). This gives your guests something practical that they'll be tempted to use again and again (just bringing eyeballs to your company name); PLUS you'll be helping folks go green. Win. Win.

BAN THE BADGE: Well, at least don't print folks their name tags. Instead, ask them to slip their business cards into the badges. Voila, no fuss! And at the end of the event, you can ask them to drop their badges, cards and all into a fishbowl for some sort of lottery draw. Folks dig that--and you've got a great way to get back the plastic covers for reuse in the future! Diabolical baby!

Most event planners order WAAAY too much food. And they over package it in clingfilm and (shudder) styrofoam. So quit! Order just what you really need and speak to your caterer. Think about pretty presentation that doesn't involve plastic (which isn't good for your health anyway) and can be consumed with fingers or metal cutlery. Yes, that means no disposable forks!

For more ideas that tie in to this piece, check out a previous post on green party planning here

And I want to know from YOU: What are you or your company doing to go green?
Leave me a comment or call our talkback line: (514) 597-5626

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Comments (1)

Mario Starnino


Dear Geeta,

Very interesting piece on Green Corporate Events. My experience as a participant on many occasions I definitely agree that there is a lot of waste attached that can be overcome. For example excess food that is sent to local food banks for consumption, use of local breweries that provide keg instead of cans, issue real glass that you can refill when necessary. Here's my angle on things that affects me personally which comes in the form of the entertainment portion of the event. Instead of having a Blasting overbearing power driven big PA belting out a ton of music that is not always condusive to conversation. I strongly recommend the sounds of an Acoustic Jazz Trio to provide the subtle nuances that entice conversations alike, producing a very calm vibe and voice within the dimension of the space. I am a Jazz musician by trade(you can ask Katie M) as reference. Just thought I would pass on my thoughts based on my exposure at such events.

Keep up the goodt work & have a great day!

Mario S.

Posted June 10, 2008 03:40 PM

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