When it comes to planning sustainable events, you can identify two types of planners. The first one is planners who’ve decided to “go green” because it’s trendy and it will give them a better marketing positioning. They tend to opt for vegetarian (or vegan) catering, search for venues powered by alternative energy resources, and reduce plastic at their events.
The second type actually acknowledges the advantage of sustainable events. Besides decreasing all sorts of waste, these planners take it one step further and focus on sustainable event planning.
After all, the idea of sustainability is not limited to the event itself. It also involves careful logistic choices and minimizing expenses.
But not all events are created equally.
The cost reduction varies depending on event’s dynamics, configurations, and capacity.
In this article, we’ll focus on learning how to plan a sustainable networking event and lowering your logistic expenses considerably.
The advantages of running a sustainable networking event
Compared to events that are based on knowledge transfer, networking events require a more personalized approach.
As the event planner, you are responsible for establishing the framework for networking. You also have to make sure your attendees are qualified to attend. Finally, you have to match the offer and demand.
You can’t just find some good speakers, define a generic profile of your ideal attendees, and set up the grounds for a knowledge-based interaction. Obviously, this is not an easy task to accomplish, but the entire planning protocol comes as a standard procedure.
To ensure the quality of your networking event, you must carry out a series of additional assignments. This can be setting up business categories and identifying the networking interests of different types of attendees. Also, you have to match the offer and demand, and schedule the meetings between your guests. Finally, you have to communicate those schedules, etc.
So apart from finding the venue, designing a webpage, promoting your networking event, finding a caterer, sourcing eco-friendly packaging and dealing with basic planning logistics, you also have to invest resources in carrying out these specific networking-related tasks.
Running a sustainable networking event has a multitude of benefits, including:
Benefit #1. Saving money
Because of the additional tasks a team must carry out to plan a networking event or dynamic, more expenses are expected.
From energy use and office temperature regulation to different operational costs, expenditure sheets always seem to be on the rise.
If you consider planning a sustainable networking event instead, you’ll save money. This way, you'll dedicate some of those costs to other concepts that will ensure a pleasant in-situ experience for your attendees.
Benefit #2. Automatizing the procedure
As a planner, you’re most likely designing and managing all these networking events by yourself, taking care of everything manually.
From our experience, we’ve interacted with clients who manually contact their attendees to ask them about their networking preferences (what they have to offer or what are they looking for).
Then, they have to wait for replies (another time-consuming and painful task).
After reading all of the replies, some of our clients would manually match the offer and demand based on the answers they received, which meant they then had to send a second batch of emails (hundreds!) to notify attendees of the scheduled meetings.
How tremendously awful and unsustainable is this procedure?
A sustainable networking event, instead, involves completely digitizating and automatizing these tasks. What would take a planner weeks to do manually takes just a few hours in a system.
Benefit #3. Saving time and team resources
You already know that the nonautomatic process of planning a networking event takes too much time and team resources.
Instead of focusing on other logistic or marketing tasks, your team members will end up exhausted after a long, dreadful day of matching offer and demand for the networking event.
By deciding to go sustainable, you’ll save your team an extraordinary amount of hours (or maybe days). Subsequently, they can use that time and energy to carry out other assignments that are crucial for your networking event’s success.
Benefit #4. Reducing the logistical CO2
You have no idea how energy is wasted, and how much CO2 is produced, by spending hours, days, and weeks at the computers, sending hundreds of emails back and forth. A sustainable networking event is kind to the environment and minimizes the CO2 usage.
How to Set up a Sustainable Networking Event
There’s one solution that can alleviate your planning efforts and minimize costs.
You just need one tool to plan a truly sustainable networking event: a B2B matchmaking platform.
Here’s how it works:
Step #1. Build a networking form
You’ll no longer have to ask your attendees what their networking preferences are, what they have to offer, and who they want to meet.
A B2B matchmaking tool will let you create a networking form and get the answers you need to qualify your attendees.
You can include questions such as: “What is your decision-making level in the company?” “What is your area of expertise?” “What size is your company?”
Obviously, these questions will depend on the character and goals of your B2B matchmaking event or dynamic.
Instead of sending and reading hundreds of emails just to figure out your attendees’ networking preferences, you have a nifty little networking form to do the work for you.
Step #2. Assign business categories
Since your registration form will contain pertinent attendee information, you’ll be able to separate (again, automatically!) your attendees into two business categories: “I’m looking for” and “I’m offering.” Again, you don’t have to do anything; the system does all the work for you.
Step #3. Couple the offer and demand
Thanks to these two business categories, the system will automatically match people who are looking for something (for example, investments) with those who are offering something (for example, venture capital).
What used to take you days of work will now only take a few clicks.
Subsequently, the attendees will have the possibility to request and schedule meetings with those people who are of greater interest to them, meaning your involvement is not necessary anymore.
You’ll save money, time, office resources, and team effort (not to mention mountains of stress) by simply automatizing the additional tasks a networking event involves.
That means much less time in front of the computer communicating back and forth with the attendees.
Plus, there will be much less energy waste.
Planning a sustainable networking event is all about reassessing the way your organization distributes its planning efforts and resources.
Finding more efficient and cost-effective ways has become essential for both the environment and your company.
One simple tool can save you valuable resources, while also impressively upgrading your results.
What’s better than becoming even more professional, efficient, and quick, while at the same time showing that you’re responsible and care about the world around you?
Be wise and choose to plan a sustainable networking event.