Why Holding Events Online Rather Than in Person Can Boost Your Green Credentials

by Josh Biggs in Business, Finance on 3rd September 2021

According to a startling statistic revealed on The Drum’s website, “the UK events industry emits 1.2bn kg of CO2e every year”. Fortunately, though, if your company relies on holding events, there remain various ways of doing so while trimming their adverse impact on the environment.

For a start, you should switch to holding online events – as this move would realize the following eco-friendly benefits…

You can prevent attendees from needing to travel 

People would watch your online event on their own desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones and in the comfort of their own homes. 

So, there won’t be quite so many people driving a car or taking a flight – and thus adding to the event’s carbon footprint – simply to reach the physical venue where the event is set to occur.

Online events can attract more attendees in an eco-efficient way 

One oft-cited advantage of online events is that they can easily be attended by people from all over the country and even the world, time zones permitting. 

However, as the environmental strain would obviously be much less than it would if all of the same people were visiting in person, your green conscience can remain clear.

You can banish emissions resulting from food waste 

If someone wants something to eat while at your online event, they are likely to just fetch something from their home’s cupboard or fridge. They won’t need the kind of large-scale catering you could’ve ended up providing – potentially at the planet’s expense – for an in-person event. 

Paper and plastic waste is also less of an issue 

Organizing an in-person event could lead you to hand out pieces of paper to attendees – for example, so that they can see the upcoming schedule – and put up signage in and near the venue to direct people to the specific space where the event is to be held. 

However, little – if any – paper and plastic usage like this could be necessary for an event delivered largely online. 

Speakers can still gather in a studio setting

These can happen with hybrid events, which the University of London describes as “a type of organized event that combines both physical and digital participation experiences.” 

In other words, some attendees are physically present, while others take part remotely. However, even hybrid events can produce much lower emissions than entirely in-person events.

Online events can hand more opportunities to sponsors 

These sponsors could, for example, be given digitally-branded ‘spaces’, or participate in – as well as put their brand name on – individual live streams and Q&A sessions. An online event platform from ON24 can help to make all of this technically possible.  

You can avoid ecologically-damaging anti-COVID measures 

Such measures you could, in the foreseeable future, need for a wholly in-person event include regularly and thoroughly cleaning the event space and installing sanitation points there. 

However, all of this – while good for countering the COVID risk – can add significantly to the amount of ecological waste generated by the event. This is waste an online event can more easily avoid producing. 

Categories: Business Finance