3 steps to holding an eco-friendly meeting or conference

Business conferences and meetings are a great opportunity to showcase your company brand – and your commitment to sustainable practices.

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Make your next meeting or conference an opportunity to showcase your company’s commitment to sustainable practices.  (Photo: The James Harris room, Elm Hurst Inn & Spa)

Hosting an eco-friendly meeting demonstrates the values of your business, and can make a lasting positive impression on your employees and customers. And that just makes good business sense.

Here are a few simple suggestions to add some green to your next meeting or conference:

Book a green venue
Reduce carbon emissions by choosing a venue that is close to home, or in a central location with easy access to public transit.

You can also encourage your team to go green by offering incentives for ride-sharing. Or, provide a shuttle service to and from your venue so people can leave their cars at home.

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Located in the heart of London Ontario’s ‘Old South’, Idlewyld Inn & Spa is a short walk to one of Canada’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.

Look for conference venues that integrate environmentally-sustainable elements into their day-to-day operations through recycling and composting, the use of water-saving equipment and techniques, and through the use of pourers for sugar and cream and small serving dishes for butter and jams.

Eat local and drink from a glass
Choose a venue or caterer committed to cooking with local, seasonal products. Then, cut down on your food waste by taking a close look at consumption at past events. Arrange to have any leftover food donated to a local shelter or food bank, and consider providing a compost receptacle next to the traditional recycling and waste cans.

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The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are proud to support local farmers. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your venue to provide pitchers of water instead of bottled water to help eliminate plastic waste.

Go paperless (as much as possible)
With online registration and promotional tools like Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s easy to get the word out without using paper invitations and registration forms.

Create an event website – or mobile app – instead of a printed program. This is also a great (and green) way to provide attendees with any last-minute updates.

Choose recycled paper and environmentally-friendly inks for any printed materials you just can’t do without – and don’t forget to collect lanyards for use at future events.

The corporate sales team at Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa can help you ‘green your meetings’ in style.

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Ready, set, meet…3 tips for a meeting people will want to attend

We’ve all been there. The meeting that goes on and on with no concrete outcome. The meeting that gets hijacked by the most outspoken member of the team. The meeting were people pay more attention to their smart phone than the issues at hand. The meeting that leaves you asking : why am I even here?

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Here are three simple tips to make your next meeting more productive:

Know what you want to accomplish
A meeting should have a clear and well-defined objective. Are you making an announcement? Seeking input into a challenge facing the company? Or is it simply a brainstorming session?

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The key to any good meeting is planning….(photo: Idlewyld Inn & Spa)

Think about who you need to invite. Is the discussion relevant to them? And do they have the skills to contribute to the conversation? If the answer is no, then don’t waste their time.

Begin and end on time
There’s nothing more annoying than a meeting that starts late and then drags on and on. A written agenda can help keep everyone on track.

Remember – an hour is the longest time most people can truly remain engaged. If it’s not enough, schedule a break.

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Need to meet for more than an hour? Plan a lunch break! (photo: Elm Hurst Inn & Spa)

Establish some ground rules
If your colleagues typically spend more time emailing or surfing the web than focusing on the issue at hand, don’t be afraid to ban technology – or at least insist that it’s placed on the table and out of reach.

And if one person starts to monopolize the discussion, call them out. A simple : “We appreciate your comments, but we need input from everyone before making a decision” should do the trick.

What is your best tip for holding a productive meeting?

The Elm Hurst Inn & Spa and Idlewyld Inn & Spa are preferred venues for meetings and multi-day conferences. Ask us how we can make your next business meeting memorable!