The Hospitality Show Las Vegas will place eco-friendliness front and center

The first-ever Hospitality Show is coming to Las Vegas and its producers are making strong sustainability efforts from the get-go. In addition to three days of speakers, networking opportunities and idea-sparking content, The Show’s sustainability efforts—a big topic in the hospitality industry in general, and a topic of focus at The Show in particular—will be on full display.

The Show, which will take place June 27-29 at The Venetian Las Vegas, is a collaboration between American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and information services company Questex, which offers data insights in other fields in addition to hospitality, such as technology, healthcare and wellness.

The two organizations have come together to make The Show as eco-friendly as possible, adhering to Questex’s Quest Zero initiative, through which the company has joined the Net Zero Carbon Event initiative, along with its vendor partners and colleagues.

How The Show’s Eco-friendly Initiatives

Efforts within different operations of The Show are being made to ensure it aligns with its sustainability goals, including reducing carpeting to two main aisles and only a few activations, after which the carpet will be used by future conventions and some will be recycled; limiting lighting and HVAC on the set-up days leading up to the event; donating food waste or sending it to a local farm to either be composted or used as pig feed.

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Even smaller details, down to what the badges are made of, will be given the sustainability treatment. “The badges will be plastic-free and made of paper,” says Akshar Patel, senior director of events and strategy at Questex. “We will encourage all attendees to return their badges for the reuse and recycling of the materials, including lanyards.”

Patel adds, “We have eliminated single-use bottles, prioritized local vendors to reduce travel when shipping products and equipment, organized staff and volunteer travel to and from the event to offset emissions, and roughly 95% of all on-site graphics will be recycled or reused.”

Venetian Convention and Expo Center, where The Show will take place, is also a sustainability advocate. In 2013, it became the first venue in the world to receive APEX/ASTM Level 2 Certification in 2013, meaning the convention center adheres to comprehensive standards for environmentally sustainable meetings. Although the APEX/ASTM standard was replaced by the updated EIC Sustainable Event Standards in 2019, The Venetian continues to follow eco-friendly guidelines.

“The Venetian operates with a focus on targeting ways they can eliminate waste, reuse, replace and recycle to limit environmental impact through natural resource conservation, waste management and supply-chain sustainability,” Patel says. “We will be communicating and encouraging our attendees to support the hotel’s effort and our team has also kept these efforts at the forefront in planning and execution of The Show.”

Patel says they will be running back-of-house tours at The Show, two of which will be focused on sustainability. “Attendees can tour the recycling dock where they will see all the waste properly sorted and recycled,” he says. “Seeing these sustainability efforts first-hand is a great way to bring our educational content full circle and a nice way for attendees to feel that they’re a part of something bigger.”

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For meeting profs who wonder how they can make their events more sustainable, Patel has this to say: “My first tip would be to educate yourself on sustainability issues. There are so many ways to make an event more sustainable that are just not common knowledge or top of mind when thinking eco-friendly. Do a bit of brainstorming at the beginning of the planning process, decide what choices might impact the environment and research all possible alternatives.

“The smallest change can still have a great impact on the environment. Sometimes, it’s just not logistically possible to make every single choice in favor of sustainability, but the efforts that are made, even small ones, make a big difference and really matter to the cause.”

The Show 2024 will be held at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio Oct. 28-30. Beyond 2024, the two organizations have agreed to produce the event for 10 more years beginning this year.