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Three Freeman Trend Lab Trends to Embrace for Earth Day

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Melinda Kendall
Melinda Kendall

SVP, Sustainability

Get your green juices flowing with these ideas for your next event or brand experience

The Freeman Trend Lab was created to help event professionals navigate the fast–paced changes in our industry, and analyze the trends that affect brands, businesses, and brand experiences.

Of course, this includes trends that influence or impact sustainability efforts.

When it comes to sustainability, our approach is a goal of zero waste. And waste can include anything from wasted materials, talent, time or more. So, this Earth Day, consider these three Trend Lab trends as a jumping off point for your green event brainstorms. 

Read on for inspiration and ideas to apply these trends to your programs today — and be sure to vote for your favorite! 

Low-Waste Movement: Efficient and innovative thinking

Mindful production and reduction means more profit and purpose, creating more efficiency, less waste, and greater sustainability. This is a state of mind that leads by example, utilizing all means necessary to recycle and upcycle at every moment, reducing carbon footprints and supporting the local economy, being organic and embracing our environment, ultimately creating zero-waste events and experiences.

Ideas on how to incorporate this trend:

  • Replace plastic water bottles with bottle-filling stations. Some event organizers have found they save money by giving out refillable bottles compared to the one-time-use plastic bottles.
  • Create less of everything: fewer signs, less carpeting, replace printed with digital show guides. Attendees tend not to miss them.
  • Source local food. Work with the caterer to source locally, set realistic attendance numbers to reduce wasted food, and try a meatless meal for the environment. Good for the environment, and can also help create a more memorable experience.

Collaboration Incubators: A safe space for innovation

Events provide ideal environments for engagement that strengthens interaction, communication, and collaboration — tapping into talent and the power of the collective. When it comes to sustainability, creating space for innovation incubators allows attendees to work together creatively to tackle green challenges, solve problems, and even create new products, services, or solutions. Whether it’s a hackathon, pitch contest, or spontaneous brainstorm, attendees leave engaged and inspired.

Ideas on how to incorporate this trend:

  • Every industry has its own environmental challenges. Work within water, air, resources, or energy to create a workshop to tackle these challenges collectively.
  • If you aren’t sure what the key environmental issue for your industry is, use a survey or crowd-sourcing tool to brainstorm what areas are most meaningful or could create the most change.
  • Start a workshop with a short panel to outline the problem, then let the table groups compete to create the solution. Let the winning group present to a higher authority with budget at a later date.

Do Good: Doing good — with purpose

By bringing communities together to learn, grow, and network, we can weave purpose into our objectives and contribute to the greater good. A collective mission to make a difference can bring positive change to everything and everyone... everywhere, all while maximizing the time and talent of your event community.

Ideas on how to incorporate this trend:

  • What charitable cause is most relevant to your industry segment? Create a cause-related mission statement, and adopt the most impactful charity in that field. Keep the relationship across events and years to build the sense of fulfillment.
  • Sometimes the most fulfilling outreach for an event is to the local community where the event is located. Consider a charitable field trip, donation program for a local charity, or bringing them into the event content.
  • Can the skills of your members help others? Perhaps with a little push from the event, a group of like-minded attendees can organize the effort for outreach.

Which of these trends are you most likely to apply to your event?

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