Advertising your event is crucial. Yet, at a green event, it is important to keep in mind that certain environmentally responsible guidelines should be followed. You can still reach out to your potential audience and engage the artists, surrounding communities, governments and local nonprofits without sacrificing the sustainability principles you’re are trying to promote.One of the most common ways to promote your event is through flyers and pamphlets. How can you create quality marketing materials at a lower cost and environmental impact?
- Make sure to check with the venue to see what their maximum capacity is – this will help you determine what kind of marketing campaign you will need.
- Get creative. Opportunities exist to collaborate with artists about their green tours and stories. Utilize these efforts to gather support for your event.
- Choosing local photographers and/or graphic designers is a good way to incorporate volunteer help. However, if you choose to use the work of a professional, look into a partnership to help minimize your cost and promote their involvement in an important cause.
- If you have a band or special guest, work with them to spread the word, sometimes that will resonate with guests more than printed material.
And what about printing on large amounts of paper?
- Well, the first thing you should consider is that all programs, pamphlets, and flyers must be printed on post-consumer recycled paper. We recommend 100% recycled paper, but 30% should be the minimum.
- Also, and ask the printer if they have environmentally friendly inks (i.e. soy or corn based) available – conventional inks contain toxins and metals (and include a message such as “Printed on 100% recycled paper using bio-based inks” to alert people to your efforts).
- Spread your notices electronically – through Facebook, MySpace, Evite or email – and issue press releases to your local/campus television, radio and newspapers, make home made PSA’s (public service announcements) and post them on YouTube
- Pass out business cards with links to websites that your guests can visit for more information. Also, encourage any sponsors or partners to have sign up sheets, or email lists instead of handing out printed information.
You may also want to create banners and other signage to promote and advertise your event. Be bold, and consciously design and produce green signage and marketing materials. You want to make them highly visible and convey the message you are trying to push, but also be certain they create excitement and enthusiasm for the cause (be sure to check any local guidelines before hanging any signage).
- For banners, the source material for the banner should be recyclable, biodegradable, or proven non-hazardous to its environment. Non PVC (polyvinyl chloride or “vinyl”) is available, but if you must use PVC, reuse or recycle the banners in some capacity (i.e. Live Earth re-purposed some banners into bags and shade coverings).
- Strategically place your messaging displays provides an opportunity to highlight resource conservation at the point of impact – you want to place them in high traffic areas for maximum visibility (and providing educational signage will raise the audience’s awareness on how guests can help minimize carbon emissions).
Determining your results will help you quantify the environmental and economic impact of your greening efforts. Gathering these metrics is critical for gauging success and benchmarking progress versus others in the industry. Gathering random surveys is one method of obtaining such information.
At the Live Earth concerts, audience members were randomly selected to fill out a questionnaire. The people were asked to fill out questions such as “how far did you travel for the event” and “how many people were in your vehicle.”
A carbon offset is a financial method of reducing your impact. Purchasing one carbon offset is the equivalent to reducing 1 metric ton of carbon emissions. Though “green tags” and carbon offsets are a step in the right direction, purchasing one does not make a difference as significant as changing your daily habits to lead a more environmentally responsible life. The following are a list of resources for offsetting your carbon footprint:
Create small pamphlets to distribute on the day of your event that will direct your audience to further resources. Business cards printed on recycled paper are a good method of passing out links for the audience to go to for more information because they are small and therefore do not waste excess paper.
Send environmental results – and the important role that each individual contributed – to the performers, crew, and audience members via email. Publishing your results builds environmental recognition and goodwill, and educates the stakeholders about the importance of environmental initiatives.
Be sure to express your gratitude for the sponsors and artists donated time and money in support of your cause. A brief note helps other understand your appreciation of their hard work on behalf of your cause.
- Brainstorm promotional and marketing techniques, be creative, and try and produce environmentally responsible marketing materials and signage.
- Search for existing publicity tools to address green initiatives.
- Compile mailing lists and invitations depending on how many people your venue can hold.
- Pick a graphic designer and select photographers to document the activity on the day of the event.
- Develop captivating and educational signage.
- Spread the word through the web, make some PSA’s
- Brainstorm ideas for diverse poster locations.
- If you create a press release, make sure it clearly highlights your cause.
- Initiate an educational campaign.
- Work to contact outside media sources confirming the date and time of your event.
- Supplement the messaging with an opportunity for ticket holders to purchase “green tags,” which are carbon offset certificates.
- Following your event, measure your results.
- Advertise your environmental success to the participating artists and general public.
- Release a press release and contact your local newspaper and industry to brag about your success.
- Write thank you notes to the sponsors and artists.