“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for pulling all the strands together for yesterday’s sustainability conference. I, like others, was wowed by the stage production. Despite the various challenges everything worked out. Thank you for making the speakers experience smooth, for flagging the 1001 details that I didn’t know about but got sorted, and the juggling act between last minute requests and getting the job delivered in just four weeks. And thank you for running, in essence, an entire online event in parallel to the face-to-face event seamlessly, or at least such that I don’t know where the seams are.”
Why did they need our help?
Bristol City Council had funding to organize a regional COP26 event and an ambition to bring the business community together to talk about both the practicalities of how businesses can reduce emissions and also what were the business opportunities in the sector.
The event was a collaboration with Business West, the local chamber of commerce and was to be a half-day conference and workshop to inform businesses on practical steps that they can take to plan to reduce carbon emissions.
What did we recommend?
As we were organising a sustainability conference, delivering accessible content whilst minimising waste and carbon footprint were always going to be of paramount importance.
In the first instance we recommended a hybrid format (simultaneous delivery both live and online) to impact and reach as many businesses as possible. Many people still lack confidence in attending live events, or are unable to leave their business to attend. With a lack of surety that existed around the Autumn of 2021 with regards to potential lockdowns, this had the added advantage of preparing us if we had to stream online only.
Secondly, we recommended a professional set and AV delivery to give the event the gravitas needed in the community.
Finally, we recommended using sustainable sourcing and operation as much as possible to minimise mileage and waste.
What action did we take?
Using our knowledge of local suppliers we procured the services of Evans Audio Visual, a Bristol-based company with a long heritage of delivering excellent technical solutions. Evans designed a completely reusable set using digital printing, which meant there was close to zero waste.
To create an effective online experience we used EventsAir’s “OnAir” platform, which meant we could easily stream live content. We also used the software to mirror the breakout groups that were taking place in the live event, using online facilitators.
The caterers, Elior, offered a vegetarian and vegan lunch on a first come first served basis in order to minimise waste and carbon footprint.
Name badges were not required and we used a check-in app combined with QR codes that were sent to attendees in advance to reduce any printing.
How their event was successful.
Over 150 business owners attended the live event at local Bristol venue We The Curious, which in itself is a sustainable venue, and another 50 people engaged with the conference virtually.
We managed to reduce the carbon footprint of the event as much as possible by using a venue with direct public transport links and within walking distance of many local businesses although we still recognise there is a lot of work to do there, and created zero waste.
We loved being back in a live event setting and watching the discussions between businesses on how to effectively achieve change. We received a lot of positive feedback on the day look forward to working with our client in the future.
Overall, a substantial amount of energy around the event was created to put climate change and the city’s ambition to reach Net Zero higher on the agenda of businesses in the Bristol area.
We really enjoyed working on this event and keeping sustainability at the heart of the planning and delivery.