Real talk about Encore’s Illuminating a Brighter Future initiative

What if planning events could result in a net gain for CSR initiatives such as sustainability and social equity? A new platform from event technology company Encore could make it easier to partner for the common good.

man in white dress shirt and black sport coat smiling
Patrick Sullivan

We asked Patrick Sullivan, director of global sustainability, what the company’s Illuminating a Brighter Future core values really means for meeting professionals looking to leverage their spend for better outcomes. Spoiler alert: Sometimes you just have to ask the right questions.

What is the link between AV practices and greenhouse gas emissions?

It’s important to remember that the emissions of the event technology solution in your meeting also include the footprint that it took to create those products, as well as the transport, travel and proper disposal. While this can create complexity in how to convey a message through technology offerings, the takeaway is that technology and innovation can be a mechanism to provide better, more efficient event experiences.

Read MoreYour Complete Guide to Sustainability

“Remember that the emissions of the event technology solution in your meeting also include the footprint that it took to create those products, as well as the transport, travel and proper disposal.”

–  Patrick Sullivan

What are the three top things meeting professionals can do/ask their event tech provider to do to reduce their event’s carbon footprint?

There are a variety of actions you can take as a meeting planner to reduce your event carbon footprint and it can be easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of initiatives and best practices available. Consider collaborating with your venue and event technology provider on these actions below to align sustainability into your event:

1. Engage your event technology provider in the event design phase—consider that your provider can support you with providing more impact if you communicate early and often about the goals of your event.

Read More: Event Design: A Method to the Madness?

2. Ask about offerings or best practices that are tied to sustainable impact—ask your supplier about environmental initiatives embedded into their operations, or if they have products or solutions that can alternatively reduce energy or waste consumption.

3. Measure your event—take into account if your venue or provider has solutions to measure and share event metrics. This will not only give you a baseline understanding of your event impact but can also identify opportunities to leverage innovation technology solutions. Encore is currently working with a prominent provider to measure carbon emissions for customer events.

How can meeting professionals measure whether these changes are having an impact?

The first step in measuring the impact of meetings is measuring your events. Measuring the carbon footprint can give meeting professionals insight through their event journey and the opportunity to make better decisions over time while maintaining engagement and purpose.

Does the training aspect of Spotlight on People make it more likely that the event techs at your next venue will have suggestions for making your event more planet-friendly? Does the Spotlight on Responsibility include doing things that help the planet?

As a hospitality company, people are our north star. Our program pillars of people and responsibility demonstrate our commitment to serving our customers, teams and the communities we work in; how we empower our people to deliver sustainable solutions brings the picture full circle. Education and awareness are top priorities for our team members, so we developed over five hours of training content for all 12,000 team members focused on sustainability awareness. As we continue our journey to develop solutions and resources for our customers, education on eco-friendly practices and offering impact reduction experiences will be equally as important as the solution.

This article appears in the March 2024 issue. You can subscribe to the magazine here.