M&IT brings together associations for Sustainability Now!

M&IT brought together 10 associations from around the events world to brainstorm ideas on how to drive the sustainability agenda.

Attendees heard a keynote speech from sustainability pioneer Guy Bigwood of the Global Destinations Sustainability Movement, speaking about the Regenerative Revolution, a new paradigm for event management.

Guy Bigwood gave the keynote address

Guy Bigwood gave the keynote address

After that, the 40-strong cohort entered a workshop led by Axis Workshops founder Rob Hopkin, during which they set out to define and prioritise a set of actionable ideas to make the events industry more sustainable.

Representatives from mia, EVCOM, HBAA, ILEA UK, Site GB, ICCA UK & Ireland, HOSPA, AEME, ABPCO and the Event Marketing Association (EMA) took part in the event, organised by M&IT in association with Axis Workshops, the EMA and production agency Broadsword Event House.

More than 80 ideas were generated in response to the question, “As the industry recovers from the impact of Covid, in light of differing definitions and priorities and the cost and challenge of substantive change, what can we do to become more sustainable?”

Attendees then ranked the ideas and rated them in in terms of cost and sustainability impacts. The results will be used to drive further action and engagement in coming weeks and months.

M&IT editor Paul Harvey said: “The reason for launching Sustainability Now! is very simple; sustainability is fundamental.

“The Covid-19 crisis has had a profound effect on the events sector, inviting us to rethink and redesign almost every aspect of our industry and our working lives within it.

More than 80 ideas were generated in the Axis workshop

More than 80 ideas were generated in the Axis workshop

“Whatever the Covid-19 recovery looks like, for most event professionals sustainability is high up the agenda. The idea that this is something we can brush under the carpet has well and truly passed.

“However, as an industry, we have not always spoken with one voice on the issue. We know that the industry’s associations are all doing their bit to address sustainability, whether it’s setting up working groups or putting pressure on supply chains.

“I want to take the energy and ideas we generated in Sustainability Now! and use it to drive the conversation across the industry, working collaboratively, joining together.

“I’d like to thank everyone that took part in the event for their time and energy and I look forward to driving further action and engagement in the coming weeks and months.”

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