The essential questions about sustainability, CSR and meetings; a visit to IMEX America will provide all the answers – and plenty of great ideas!

What is best practice in sustainability in the meetings industry? What’s the easy way to introduce best practice? How can I articulate the business case for sustainability? How can we eliminate waste at meetings?

These are among the important questions that venue and event managers now frequently face.

They can find the answers to these and many more questions about sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) all under one roof by visiting IMEX America in Las Vegas, October 10-12. Sustainability will be one of the ten tracks that are covered by the 180 plus sessions in the vast education program at the show’s Inspiration Hub.

World class expert speakers and one-to-one consultations

From Smart Monday, October 9 until Thursday afternoon, world class experts will be leading more than a dozen workshops and campfires on all aspects of this key topic. Experts will be also available for one-to-one consultations. During Smart Monday, in a session organized by MPI, there will be opportunities to benchmark their activities against others through The Global Destinations Sustainability Index, also to look “behind the scenes” at The Venetian® | The Palazzo® and the Sands Expo® to see how the hotel and venue minimize waste and maximize recycling.

Recent research by the IMEX Group and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) reveals how far the industry has gone in progressing its approach to this issue. Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of event strategists have increased their efforts in the last five years to put sustainability best practice into action, including 21 per cent who declare they have ‘significantly increased’ their efforts.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, said; “As shown by our research, sustainability continues to be a key issue for meeting planners and venues alike. Attendees at all events want to know that the organizers are planning those events in a responsible way – minimizing waste and the impact on both the local and global environment. We always seek to tackle the key industry issues through our education program, as well as providing innovative ideas and solutions.”

IMEX America is again reinforcing its strong commitment to CSR and sustainability. This year for the first time it is partnering with “Spread the Word Nevada”, a literacy non-profit organization. Attendees are invited to bring their favorite book to the show to donate to the local charity which will pass them on to children and adults across Southern Nevada.

No printed catalog – saving paper

This year IMEX America has added several more sustainability initiatives. 20 metric tonnes of paper will be saved by no longer printing a show catalog, and badges will be printed on paper rather than card. For the first time also, the carpet in the aisles and in some of the booths will be made from 25 per cent recycled materials and is 100 per cent recyclable.

These new developments are in addition to the already well-established sustainability and CSR programs and best practices at the show that include waste recycling and diversion of exhibitors’ unused materials, energy use, Clean the World® hygiene kit making, Waterwise Wednesday food and drink offerings, the Badge Back program and the #greencaffeine initiative.

CSR and Sustainability Showcase

These activities will be brought together at the show at the CSR and Sustainability Showcase which is sponsored by Costa Rica and supported by AlliedPRA and GES. This will be beside the entrance to the show floor from Tuesday October 10.

For exhibitors IMEX produces a comprehensive Sustainable Exhibiting Guide, which offers tips on how to make small changes that make a big difference. The IMEX Group is also sponsoring Positive Impact’s campaign to tell the story of the power of events during the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism 2017.

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, commented: “We have always been committed to sustainability, not only in sharing knowledge and encouraging best practice within the industry but also demonstrating our commitment through our own activities. We work closely with our partners including GMIC, MeetGreen® and The Venetian® | The Palazzo® and the Sands Expo® to comply with APEX/ASTM standards as far as possible and, with their help, make good progress each year.

“The Venetian® | The Palazzo® and the Sands Expo® has a program to donate unserved food from conventions to local food banks. In October, it is expected to reach a substantial milestone – 300,000 meals donated since the program began – a terrific achievement.”

“If every exhibitor and every attendee at IMEX America takes just one more practical step to help reduce waste or operate more sustainably at our show then the entire industry’s contribution to greater sustainability, its legacy, will increase immensely.”