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November 13, 2008
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Agency launches online tool for managing BS8901 compliance




It seems that the events industry is making almost weekly progress with respect to bedding in the BS8901 sustainable standard, the latest example being Seventeen Events' launch of online tool ‘eventberry’.

The web-based system is designed to help companies manage their compliance to BS8901. After visting the site at www.eventberry.com, users have access to all of their projects and can see in an instant the path ahead to achieve BS8901 compliance.

The system manages companies’ relationships with suppliers, stakeholders and internal and external clients. Rather than just creating a template to fill in, eventberry prompts companies with questions and hints that help to establish the tracking necessary to become BS8901 compliant.

Using drag-and-drop functions, regular email updates and a centralised supplier database, the system allows companies to manage all of their vital event information. The site was designed and built by Dunk Digital, one of the leading independent creative design agencies in London.

Charity example
One of Seventeen’s clients, the MS Society, was able to use the system to help improve sustainability at its events, and gain compliance to BS8901. The first MS Society event to use the system was the charity’s annual general meeting, which took place during September. Seventeen worked with the organisation to ensure that the system was working properly for it and ultimately to ensure that the event was compliant to BS8901.

The MS Society is now considering the best way to roll the system out across its other events and continue to improve its levels of sustainability, with the goal that all of its events can be compliant with the standard.

“It is hugely important for us to consider the social, economic and environmental impact that MS Society events have, given their size and the attendance figures,” said Chris Bray, head of conferences at the MS Society. “We’re proud to be the first charity to be recognised like this and are committed to making sure all our events meet the highest standards they can.”

Simple approach
eventberry involves no formulas, periodic tables or spreadsheets. Companies using the tool simply enter the date of their event and its title to get started. From there they can add stakeholders – either new or imported from saved projects on the system. Then over time they can build up the documentation necessary to claim BS8901 compliance, including items such as their sustainable development policy, sustainability risk analysis, key performance indicators, maturity matrix and more.

eventberry draws all this information together over time to create a master document which outlines compliance to BS8901. As all information can be carried forward to future events, making the process simpler over time. A subscription to the system also includes access to Seventeen Events expertise. 

Encouraging compliance

“I think eventberry could make the difference for a lot of agencies, organisers and venues between being compliant to BS8901 and thinking it’s all just too much effort,” said Andrew Williams, managing director of Seventeen Events. “No one in the industry who takes a responsible approach to sustainability wants an easy rubber stamp – that would be meaningless.

“What we have to do is find ways of integrating compliance into the day-to-day routine of running events. If we can make it easier for organisations to manage their data, and make it easier to gain compliance to BS8901 by organising that data properly, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Our overriding aim has to be to increase the level of sustainability in the events industry, and I think our new system will help do that.” 

eventberry is the first of two BS8901-related products which Seventeen Events are launching before the end of the year.


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