How to wean the event industry from unsustainable practices

The marketing industry really mentions sustainability at every step – in advertisements, in various promotional activities, sustainable packaging is mentioned at every step, but how much truth is there in all that? An industry that promotes itself as green, many times and without cover, usually leaves behind a large trail of garbage after events that were done for promotional purposes or similar goals. That is exactly why today we have decided to devote ourselves to research that will show us how sustainable an industry that is huge and that really needs sustainable practices really is.

We are aware of the fact that events, especially mega and large ones, are extremely expensive. The fireworks, the amount of garbage that will be left after the event, which is made up of things that were used only once, the food that was too much, and for this very reason, even dozens of kilograms of it ended up in the landfill.

The event industry has a greenwashing problem by default. Why is that so? An event organized, for example, in the summer months, targeting foreign guests and lasting several days is an ideal example of an event that, unfortunately, will not be sustainable if it does not change its focus. Sad but true. The amount of garbage, CO2, but also the damage that this event has on the infrastructure of the location where it is located is, unfortunately, irreversible. Add to that the current situation with accommodation and locations where events are held (of which an extremely small percentage are sustainable), and we get a very small number of possible fully sustainable events.

And this is exactly where the biggest problem of the event industry in the Republic of Croatia is shown to us:

  1. Lack of sustainable accommodation
  2. Lack of viable locations
  3. Lack of educated event managers who know how to organize sustainable events

These three problems are evident to all those who have scratched the surface of the event management industry in Croatia. We can certainly take a closer look at them and offer a solution that we believe will take the event industry out of the domain where the label of unsustainability is standard.

– Lack of sustainable accommodation – the fact that our hotels do not pay attention to sustainability, but also that the market will force them to do so, is evident. Unfortunately, many hoteliers do not think in the direction of sustainability because they think it is something expensive. Exactly the opposite. The benefits of such investments are very profitable in the long run, you just have to decide to go in that direction.

– Lack of sustainable locations where events can be organized – we recently did research on sustainable locations, and we were shocked when we realized how many of them do not think in this direction at all, nor do they want to think. That is precisely why, for this segment, education, as well as constant communication of the benefits of such a way of doing business, is obviously something that we will have to change for a long time to come.

– Lack of educated event managers – not once in these few years of business have we encountered organizers who promote themselves as experts in this field, and when you scratch a little under the surface, you realize that it is precisely these “experts” who believe that a sustainable event is the one on which has no press, garbage is recycled and not much food is wasted. That’s exactly why we just say – education, education, and education!

Without further ado, I believe that the cohesion and cooperation of these three segments are crucial in order to turn the branch that is truly the most unsustainable into one that significantly contributes to sustainability, but with coverage. Because if you don’t do something with the cover, it better not work at all.