Skift Take

Even the biggest venues can be gentle on the climate. The Georgia World Conference Center went through a redesign about 10 years ago, and now is one of the most sustainable large venues in the world.

Most planners agree that sustainability is one of the most important issues facing the events industry. There’s been talk for years now about how to reduce plastics, food waste, and even carbon emissions at conferences. Some planners are deciding to make events regional rather than national, so that attendees won’t have to travel as far.

The problem is, many of these solutions only work well for small events at small venues. Huge trade shows, held at massive convention centers in cities like Las Vegas or Orlando, face a whole host of obstacles when trying to become green. This can be overwhelming for organizers that are faced with the massive amounts of materials and resources needed to host tens of thousands of people.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority in Atlanta decided to tackle this problem head on, and now is the largest venue in the world to be endorsed as sustainable by the U.S. Green Building Council. Tim Trefzer, director of sustainability and corporate social responsibility at the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, talked to Skift about how the center reduces its environmental impact.

Check out this story, and many more, below.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet @ikcarey.

Isaac Carey, Travel Reporter

The Future of Events and Meetings

5 Key Lessons From the World’s Largest Green Events Venue: The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta is currently the biggest event space to be environmentally certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The center has spent the past 10 years investing heavily in sustainability, and now acts as a blueprint for other convention centers.

Behind Airbnb’s Complicated Campaign to Win Trust: In the wake of recent bad publicity and plans to go public in 2020, Airbnb has no choice but to take concerns among users and neighbors seriously. Its recent steps are a good start, but shouldn’t these have been a part of the strategy to begin with?

Can Luxury and Green Travel Comfortably Coexist? As conferences like ILTM get larger — and concepts like luxury and sustainability infiltrate more sectors and price points of the travel industry — it can start to feel like the overuse of these terms is a red flag of sorts.

Around the Industry

Marriott’s Foray Into Short-Term Rentals No Longer an Experiment — It’s a Business: Exec: Hospitality giants moving into the short-term rental space hasn’t always gone smoothly. But Marriott’s vice president of Homes & Villas said that the company isn’t getting its feet wet anymore — it’s found a business model that works and wants to grow it.

What’s in Store for the Hotel Sector in 2020: New Skift Research: Hotel performance in 2020 could diverge from region to region as local uncertainty makes itself felt across markets from Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more. Our overall outlook is for slower but still positive growth.

Accor Sells Half of Its Stake in Huazhu as Chinese Partner Eyes Europe: Has Accor’s partnership with Huazhu worn out its usefulness given the Chinese hotel giant has built a strong positioning in the economy and midscale segments in China? Huazhu now wants to focus on luxury and upper upscale, along with international expansion starting in Europe.

The Best Of EventMB

The Best of EventMB is our newest section, giving you a look into the most important and interesting content from EventMB, whether it be reports, articles, or resources for planners. EventMB joined the Skift family in September and is the largest online media resource for trends, technology, innovation, and education in the events industry.

Why Trade Shows Still and Will Matter: Trade shows present a huge opportunity in the events industry right now. They are the perfect recipient for all the extra money coming from marketing companies. Still, trade shows get a bad rap. Are they dying out or are we just witnessing a powerful transition?


Travel Reporter Isaac Carey [[email protected]] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Tags: atlanta, climate change, corporate travel, ctir, georgia, meetings, meetingsiq, sustainability

Photo credit: An outside shot of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Georgia World Congress Center Authority

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