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Planners are taking simple steps to address sustainability at their events, with a specific focus on reducing waste. How effective they can be in transforming their events, though, is another question altogether.

As sustainability has taken on a new importance in the global meetings and events sector, planners have struggled to make the right decisions to reduce their events’ impact on the environment.

Evidence shows, however, that planners are beginning to make the hard choices to improve their events despite the increased costs that often come with them.

A new report from event ticketing and marketing platform Eventbrite shows that planners are more concerned with sustainability than ever before.

The report polled 6,843 event creators who use the Eventbrite platform worldwide, with 2,383 in Canada and the U.S., from October 3 to November 2.

Overall, 96 percent of those polled believe their team will stay the same size or grow in 2020 and 60 percent expect their budget to increase this year. More than half of those polled expect to organize more events in 2020 than in 2019.

The big changes over the last year involved sustainability, with a staggering number of planners now seeing the issue as crucial to their efforts.

Sustainability Will Have a Big Impact on Events Won’t Have a Big Impact on Events
2019 6% 94%
2020 59% 41%

Source: Eventbrite

“In our 2019 survey, a scant 6 percent of respondents thought environmental responsibility would have a big impact on their events,” reads the report. “Just a year later, 59 percent of North American event professionals are taking steps to improve their event’s environmental impact.

“That’s a big switch, but not surprising. There’s a massive global movement afoot to increase environmental action. Events are no exception. At this point, sustainability has moved beyond a national trend — it’s a global responsibility.”

Dialing down into the areas of sustainability being explored by event planners, a new focus has emerged on reducing waste. Electronic ticketing and reusable items are seen as a solution to the problems facing the sector.

Sustainability Solutions
Use E-Tickets 87%
Reusable/Biodegradable Items 50%
Vegan/Vegetarian Food 46%
Encourage Public Transit and Carpooling 38%
Only Use Venues That Recycle 19%

Source: Eventbrite

Aside from solving sustainability issues, many challenges still exist for planners on the Eventbrite platform. Reaching attendees in the age of digital overload remains top of mind for planners.

Top Challenges for Planners
Reaching New Attendees 66%
Insufficient Budget 38%
Ticket Sales 35%

Source: Eventbrite

“Each year, creators aim to host more events,” states the report. “The added stress of this endeavor leads to familiar challenges — all of which are closely related. The biggest challenge by far is reaching new event attendees. While a clean half of event creators report a steady amount of pressure in this area, 17 percent think it will only become more difficult to achieve their reach goals in the coming year. … Not surprisingly, many of the responses point to marketing-related struggles.”

Check out the full report below.

Download (PDF, 3.03MB)

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Tags: climate change, eventbrite, meetings, meetingsiq, sustainability

Photo credit: Attendees at an event for the Association of Theatre in Higher Education. A new report from Eventbrite shows that planners are increasingly concerned with sustainability. ATHE / Flickr

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