Location, location, location. Will your event be inside, outside, in bar, at your house or on a field? When choosing a location, keep in mind where people will be traveling from and whom you will be working with. Introduce and encourage green requirements during the first conversations with facility managers, vendors, and other relevant parties to get them excited about the greening process as well.
Look for venues that have environmentally responsible practices in place and use them if possible and practical. Ask venues, that don’t already have policies in place, if it is possible to establish them for your event and ask if they will continue them after your group leaves.
In this Section, we will cover the venue considerations for greening an event, and take you through the following step-by-step process:
Conduct a Site Inspection
Once you have chosen a venue, it is critical that you visit the site and actually see how each element of your greening plan will work “on the ground.” For example, how is waste managed at this venue? How is energy conserved here (or how can it be)?
During your site visit, speak to the employees that work in these areas and create a plan to implement green practices.
Let the venue know that most green practices help present an environmentally responsible image to the artists and audience, and often generate long-term economic savings for the venue.
Develop the basic elements of a recycling plan that will be implemented for your event, and hopefully beyond.
Most waste reduction plans involve separating the different types of waste: recycling, organics, and garbage. Sometimes this is done off-site after it has been collected from the venue, but often you will find that the most effective and sanitary way to deal with different types of waste is to sort them at the source -- before they become intermingled. Not only does this avoid contamination of recyclables, it also provides a powerful visual and sends a clear message to the audience members.
Contracting a Garbage and/or Recycling Hauler
If you have authority over which hauler is used for the event, you should consider the following:
- The cost of services
The hauler’s experience with event recycling
Availability of containers
The hauler’s ability to measure and report garbage and recycling data
The range of materials accepted
Garbage collection services may be regulated by local governments, so check with the local solid waste office for the name of the franchised collection company and for a list of additional companies that may be permitted to provide recycling services.
Water is quickly becoming a scarce resource. As prices rise, water conservation will become a focal point of the 21st century. While water conservation strategies are mostly within the power of venues themselves, it is important that everyone in the live event industry know about the solutions and sustainable practices for the future.
There are numerous methods available to reduce water usage such as water efficient restrooms and low water landscaping in and around venues.
Venues can help to conserve this precious resource by installing water efficient equipment in their restrooms. This is a process and can be done as dated systems are up-graded. However, it is heartening to note that water conservation technology already exists – such as low volume toilets, waterless urinals, motion sensor sinks, and aerated faucet taps. If none of those options work, you can always throw a brick in the toilet.
Other exciting technologies in this area are becoming more common, such as “green roofs” and rain catching systems that prevent rain from going directly into sewage systems, thus storing rainwater for a future use.
Some fundamental questions to ask about the venue’s restrooms are:
- Does the venue currently employ any water saving practices in the restrooms?
- What types of paper products are used? Are they made from post-consumer recycled content?
- What types of cleaning materials are purchased and used? Are they recyclable or non-toxic?
Recycled Paper Products
Recycling and purchasing the proper supplies are also critical aspects of greening the restrooms. Using recycled paper tissues and towels helps to conserve precious resources and requires less energy in their production. Unbleached products avoid the use of toxic chemicals are often ultimately released into the eco-system.
Environmentally Responsible Soaps and Cleaners
Environmentally conscious soaps and cleaners are made without toxic chemicals and petroleum products. They are just as effective as heavy-duty cleaners, but they are much gentler on our environment. Specific products are certified as safe by organizations such as Green Seal, an environmental products testing organization.
Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights are two-thirds more efficient and last up to 10 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. While the type of house lighting used within a venue is ultimately a decision within the control of the venue owners and operators, concert producers and employees can reinforce sustainable ideals by suggesting that standard bulbs be replaced by more efficient options.
Get the paperwork done first
This part may seem like a pain but all the paperwork needs to be taken care of before anything else. So, when the fine print is read and the signatures are taken care of, you can begin to focus on the creative design process. As you rent equipment and other materials, please double check to see if it fits under the venues guidelines.
Work closely with those in charge of your venue
Ask all superiors about any guidelines that you would need to follow to have the event at that specific location and then ask yourself if you can comply with those guidelines. Having an event outside is great and extremely green but what backup plan is there just in case it rains? Is there a rain date or an indoor location?
Ask your promoter if they have a satellite feed and where can it be viewed. At the 7.07.07 events, schools broadcasted the concert on their campuses or at another local establishment to help spread the word.
Pay close attention to the nitty-gritty details throughout the process to ensure that nothing is overlooked
Be sure to follow through on the acquisition of the appropriate permits. Some examples are: land use permits, parking permits, food and beverages ones, firework permits, ect…
Set up and take a final walk through incase their have been any changes during the planning of the event.
How many people came to the event? Did you achieve the success you had hope for?
- Visit potential sites and ask for recommendations
- You may ask, what are some green practices that can take place at the venue?
- Get verbal approval/ permission for sites, entertainments, ect & develop alternative sites
- Investigate need for special permits, licenses and insurance
- Check with the venue and see if there is a satellite feed
- Secure permits and insurance
- Finalize audiovisual equipment
- Obtain agreements for decorations and rental items
- Possibly enlarge site the plan for the room design and seating for guests, vendors and the entertainment
- Confirm set up and tare down times
- Schedule deliveries of special equipment and rentals
- Reconfirm event site in person
- Sound and equipment check
- Abide by schedule times