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August 6, 2015

Tips for Picking the Right Sustainability Battles at Conferences




by Adrian Segar

In 2011, Simon Sinek keynoted MPI’s World Education Congress. As I and thousands of attendees watched, he began to share his message by drawing a diagram on a flip chart pad. Almost as soon as Simon picked up his marker, people started tweeting that he was wasting paper.

At recent conferences I’ve been asked if I really need to have attendees work with sticky notes and flip charts. People ask, “Can’t they just talk to each other?” I’ve also encountered resistance to requests to print a few attendee tour photos for use in artifact-building exercises.

Let’s put these and similar requests in perspective. I am a supporter of sustainable events. From 1978 – 1983 I managed a solar energy business, and didn’t do it for the money.

I am glad that apps are rapidly making it unnecessary to print the vast quantities of schedules and vendor catalogs that we schlepped around in the past, applaud the installation (and flexibility) of electronic signage, and love the efforts to minimize the appalling food wastage we used to take for granted when running an event.

Read the rest of this article at Conferences That Work


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