Five lessons from Micebook Ventures Chapter II: ReWilding Your Business, Restoring Our World
Sustainability is the number one priority across M&E teams at the moment. Understanding the present and future of truly green events has never been more important. With this in mind, we’re bringing the latest industry insights on sustainability straight to you. This week, our very own Head of Operations Grace Louisy reports directly from Micebook’s summit on sustainability.
If I could describe the drive behind the events industry in one word, it would be sustainability. It is rightly the buzzword of the moment, the top item on everyone’s agenda. The big net-zero targets of 2025 are fast approaching, so what are we actually doing about it?
Well, I went to Micebook Ventures to find out. The second Ventures event in Micebook’s excellent sustainability series, I was keen to see what happens when event experts get together to solve one of the biggest challenges facing our industry. Micebook knows how to throw an event, so it was no surprise that the agenda was jam-packed full of content, activities, meetings and networking.
Here are the five key things I learnt at Micebook Ventures:
- Commit to sustainability
If you’re going to have a ‘sustainable event’, commit to it! Everything about the event was conscious of the possible environmental impact. In reality, this translated to:
- A meat-free gala dinner and meat-free barbecue (both, I can report, were delicious).
- A reduced (and meat-free) breakfast menu to limit waste.
- A sustainable host venue, more on that below.
- The venue is always important
As a huge fan of Birch, I was desperate to the see the new Selsdon site which opened earlier this year. If you’re looking for your 5* hotel with miniature shampoos, free slippers and towel change service, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Birch Selsdon is a country getaway that is proud to shirk single-use plastics and brand-new furniture and fittings in favour of up-cycled and thrifted decor. This is paired with a rewilding project that has turned the 100-year-old golf course into a natural habitat for cattle, ponies and pigs.
- It’s time to diversify your activities
Long gone are the days of stuffy rooms full of employees building houses of cards. It took a while, but work-based team activities can actually be fun and beneficial. Birch’s roster of things to do places a refreshing focus on wellness, getting outside and actually furnishing your skillsets.
- The ‘wake-up wellness’ pre-breakfast activities encourage balance after the night before. Hangovers beware.
- HIIT classes and pottery workshops
- Yoga by Be in Your Element and Forest bathing to ease the body and mind.
- Long walks across the 200 acres of rewilded ‘Northern Savannah’.
- Content is key
Obviously, in between idyllic baths and shaping clay, it’s important to attend events that will leave you feeling more clued in on the industry's latest.
The key to getting across great content is keeping things fresh. An interesting venue will help with this, of course (who doesn’t want to do a product launch surrounded by ponies?), but it’s also down to the scheduling choices. Make each event meaningful and matched with appropriate suppliers that underscore the message you are trying to convey.
- Guest list matters
As the old adage goes, it’s not what you know it’s who you know. With this in mind it’s very important to fill your roster with experts from all aspects of sustainable events. You’ll want venues, suppliers, agencies, DMCs and tech experts giving their take. 2023 is all about knowledge sharing, not gatekeeping.
When it comes to experts, you can’t drop the ball. Gathering industry professionals means an uninformed speaker won’t be able to blag their way through a keynote. Services like Speaker’s Corner can ensure that whoever has the mic will do it justice.