| Greening Your Event|
Mar 31, 2010
Cutting down on waste is the mantra of intelligent business of the 21st century. Wasted paper, wasted hours, wasted energy. Today, looking for ways to make your operations more efficient in their use of human and natural resources can be both a financial and social asset. Here are some ideas to get event planners and organizations started:
Cut down on the use of unnecessary materials
Conventional offices rely heavily on the printed page, and events have traditionally been an extremely paper-heavy operation. Documents are printed out in order to be transferred from one person to another, rather than simply passed via email or an intranet system. Event registrations are printed out and mailed, only to be faxed or mailed back in and entered into a database. But most of this work can be accomplished without ever having to go to a printer, if you begin to explore the online and internet-based business administration tools available.
For example, most event registrations can be taken care of online. Instead of printing event brochures and invitations, rely as much as possible on email to get the word out. Instead of requiring event registrations to be mailed or faxed in to your offices, simply use online registration forms to process attendee payments and program selections. Instead of relying on printed receipts or confirmation letters, email them to your attendees. Hold more of your planning meetings virtually, so that participants can refer to the same documents on a central intranet without having to print out copies of agendas, program brochure drafts, lists, etc. This will also enable certain staff to work more hours from home, cutting down on commute times and gas expenditures.
Seek greater efficiency in your planning processes
This will depend on how each organization works, but a regular review of your planning and implementation work flows will usually bring to light steps that can be eliminated or combined to save time and human resources.
For example, printing out name badges traditionally required attendee registrations to be culled from a contact database and transferred to Excel, from which they were then imported into Word or some other formatting application, and then printed on Avery cardstock. With an event management system that takes care of these steps internally, all you have to do is select your attendee list and export to PDF format for printing on Avery cardstock. This cuts down the procedure from 4 steps to 1, and is just one example of how reviewing your work flows and researching a supportive software alternative can save your staff time and energy.
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