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Greenery Your Way to a Sustainable Event

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Author: Courtney Lohmann, CMP
Director of Culture, Koncept Events
GMIC Leadership Committee Member 

Each year, Pantone, the world expert on color, releases their color of the year. As our industry continues to push the boundaries of sustainable events, we were thrilled to see the color for this year land within one of our favorite tones – greenery! The word green and sustainability have always gone hand-in-hand. For 2017, let it inspire you in a whole new way!  


Succulents are an easy favorite here! They can be used several times, always look refreshing and require very little water overall. Another creative approach is using potted herbs as your table décor, which can also add a freshness to the air. Wheatgrass has been one of our favorites! Tahira Endean, CMP, DES, CED, event producer for the #BCTECH Summit, points out, be sure to only use one type of herb in your arrangements. Combining herbs together can actually send mixed messages to your brain. Either of these little earth friendly accents are the perfect pop of greenery and sustainability! Both options here are also great donation items. Working with a local food bank? They might love the herbs to use in their kitchen and could use the succulents to decorate!

Food & Beverage
Greenery is in the kitchen! Infuse more vegetables into your meal choices and work with the hotel to piggyback with another group. You can have your vegetable sides created out of unused fresh cut vegetables from a previous group. You can save cost and keep food out of the landfill! 

Studies have shown the color green reduces anxiety. Using pops of green around your event will help to create a sense of calm. Look at using green linens in solid or nature-inspired patterns. Mix and match these and reuse them at different events throughout your program. 
So often we are caught inside during our programs. Look at making use of meeting space with windows and natural light. When looking at adding accent or stage decor, think about bringing in some potted plants adding fresh air to the room! 

Have you thought of using nature imagery yet? Here’s your chance! Change your ballroom title slides to images from nature that can set your session’s mood. You can use a series of them throughout the day to keep your guests focused, refreshed and stimulated. 

Wellness, calm, greenery. These terms seem meant for each other! Look at your location. Can you offer a morning walk or use a courtyard space to host yoga or meditation? If not, is there a small meeting room you can set up with green accents like couches and chairs or comfortable furniture inspired by natural elements. Consider a small sound system playing sounds heard in nature. A quiet room can be the best place for your guests to refresh during your event!  

GMIC has been exploring greenery for years, and we are thrilled to have it inspire us in a whole new way this year! Endean, a long supporter of sustainability and events, adds, "When we can add any level of nature into our event through entrance pieces, by sending people outside, with centerpieces, we are fundamentally going to have people feel "better" at our events – and this can impact their visceral experience, memory retention, a-ha moments and ultimately their desire to return again."

How will you embrace your greenery in 2017?

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