ICC Wales recently welcomed 11 event professionals for an overnight familiarisation trip hosted by Eventprofslive, a networking group for corporate event professionals. Attendees joined a sustainability 101 workshop and enjoyed an overnight stay at The Celtic Manor Resort, which is just a short walk away from the conference centre.
With sessions facilitated by sustainability specialists for the live events and experiential industry, Worlds Better, the two-day event was a fantastic opportunity for event professionals and organisers to learn more about how to deliver events that leave a positive impact on delegates and industry peers as well as local communities, future generations, and most importantly, the environment.
The session was supported by a selection of partners, from not-for-profit organisations to hospitality suppliers, whose values and sustainability policies reflect the event and FAM trip objectives including:
- Invisible Cities
- Make Events
- Caleno Drinks
Attendees, who represented corporate industries, had the opportunity to broaden their environmental knowledge, hear from their peers on challenges and pain points and gain valuable insights into sustainability across the sector.
WEAVING SUSTAINABILITY INTO THE ITINERARY
ICC Wales, which prides itself on being at the forefront of sustainable venues, provided some inspiration on the types of eco-friendly resources that can be used by providing welcome letters and menus made from seeded paper, which could be planted following the event, an active reminder that our present actions will affect future generations.
During a busy day of workshops, delegates enjoyed a plant-based lunch followed by an evening reception at ICC Wales. To further showcase how to create a greener event and reduce their impact on the environment, delegates enjoyed a three-course dinner, prepared using locally sourced ingredients including Welsh cheese and Welsh lamb. A Willy Wonka-style interactive dessert provided a little fun to finish off the feast.
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO DELIVERING EVENTS
The workshop helped identify some of the most common struggles event professionals encounter when delivering sustainable events including:
- Tight budgets
- Limited workforces and resources
- Lack of stakeholder buy-in
- Feeling overwhelmed
Addressing these pain points, Worlds Better provided simple solutions to event organisers including:
1) Sourcing suppliers: asking more questions about a supplier’s sustainability policies or corporate social responsibility can help align an event in a greener direction. Caleno Drinks, who specialise in alcohol-free alternative beverages, provided drinks samples during the FAM trip. As a B-Corp company, whose products are available at a number of outlets across Cardiff from Radyr to Rhymney, this was a perfect example of how Eventprofslive aligned delegate experience with their sustainability and inclusivity goals.
2) Community impact: consider the ways in which an event can help benefit local communities and social enterprises such as Invisible Cardiff, a charity working to end homelessness in the capital city, who work in partnership with ICC Wales to offer walking tours to delegates. The venue has also partnered with two leading charities, Event Cycle and FareShare Cymru, who are committed to reducing waste and encouraging a circular economy by redistributing surplus food and leftover belongings to those in the community who would benefit from these items.
3) Incorporate the outdoors: making the most of outdoor experiences can help tick sustainable and wellbeing objectives, such as the forest bathing that FAM trip attendees enjoyed while strolling around ICC Wales’ natural surroundings which boosted creativity and acted as a refreshing activity to break up the session.
4) Small steps, big results: considering beforehand what resources, materials or services can be reduced – or even avoided – during an event can help event organisers meet their sustainability goals.
5) Green travel: encouraging delegates to travel via public transport can help offset carbon emissions, which can be done by leveraging partnerships with transport providers who offer delegate discounts.
Reflecting on the FAM trip and workshop, Amy Phillips, Sales Manager, ICC Wales said: “As a venue, which has been designed with sustainability at its core, we believe it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and passion with the wider industry to help generate the creation of environmentally positive events that allow people to learn, connect, and move forward.
“As the findings from our latest report, Event Power: a Force For Good, reveal, by working collectively as a sector today, we can help create a lasting positive impact on tomorrow’s people and planet. We welcome all event professionals, no matter their status or sector, to take part in the conversation around sustainability and play an active role in leaving nothing but a positive legacy behind.”
Discussing the event, Katie Bullard, Co-Founder of Eventprofslive said: “Our familiarisation trips are a great way for event professionals to make new industry connections, share knowledge and witness first-hand some of the leading venues within the events sector. Sustainability is embedded in ICC Wales’ DNA, making our decision to host our latest workshop here an easy one, where we utilised the team’s passion and knowledge to help us create a greener event and familiarisation trip for our delegates.
“Sustainability is a huge focus for organisations and as event professionals we have a responsibility to deliver sustainable events that leave a positive legacy for future generations. ICC Wales believe the future depends on what we do now, and their stance as leaders in environmental hospitality is demonstrated in their approach, such as their hydration stations, maintained woodland, food waste process, and more.”
Chrissie Beck, Founder and Event Sustainability Consultant at Worlds Better, said: “As sustainability specialists for the live events industry, Worlds Better could absolutely see why the ICC Wales was the chosen location for this Eventprofslive sustainability workshop and fam trip. Clearly excelling in the space, ICC Wales is a venue that support its customers to deliver well considered and sustainable events. Corporate event managers that work with sustainable venues like ICC Wales can be confident that behind the scenes, sustainable practices are applied like delivering responsible menus, managing and segregating event waste and even energy efficiency plans. It was a pleasure teaming up with them!”
To find out more about the FAM trip and workshop, visit the Eventprofslive website.