In Chinaís ultra-competitive events marketplace, venues,
organizations and suppliers focusing on sustainability initiatives
definitely have a competitive edge.
While claiming a venue or organization is sustainable is
great, itís only the first step. I would argue that sustainability
certification may be the extra advantage needed to tip the scales during
your next RFP process. I have noted that venues and visitors bureaus
around the world are taking the lead in getting certified. The next step
is to bring onboard key suppliers so the venue/destination can pitch a
complete sustainability package to show organizers.
On the corporate side, sustainability is being pushed
down the supply chain by procurement and marketers who realize
sustainability can serve as another arrow in their quiver to better
attract events and shows. Certification to a global standard lends
further credence to your marketing message.
And of course, donít lose sight of perhaps the most
important factor Ė adopting and getting certified to a global industry
standard elevates your own internal sustainability practices. It sends a
strong message to your staff and external audiences that sustainability
and social responsibility are important and your company have made a
serious, visible commitment.
If you have not done so, I suggest you investigate two
standards and determine which best fits your organizationís needs. The
Green Meetings Industry Council
(GMIC) developed standards published through
GMIC defines nine elements of the supply chain, including
destination/visitorís bureau, venue, food & beverage, transportation,
accommodation, A/V company, staging and booth construct, communications
& marketing and the on-site sales office. The GMIC standard defines the
considerations for selection in the event supply chain by
environmentally conscious event planners.
A second suggestion is the International Standards
Organization (ISO) and its standard ď20121Ē
Ė Event Sustainability Management System. The ISO standard addresses the
management of improved sustainability across the full event management
cycle. An excellent tool for planners is the
It is an online system that fosters compliance with both the ISO and
GMICís ASTM standards.
As I noted above, adopting sustainability practices are a
best industry practice and can earn some attention in the marketplace.
However, itís independent certification to a defined global standard
that will more readily position your organization apart from the
clutter. After all, anyone can claim their organization follows
sustainable practices, but just because they say so, doesnít make it
© 2015 by Glenn Hansen