Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue

Green Event Trends

What you need to know to ensure your next meeting is low-impact, eco-friendly and good to the planet

By Doug O’Neill

“Over the next several years, the ability to offer green meetings will become one of the most important factors in generating attendance, participant satisfaction and overall success of meetings. The question is not whether or not to go green, but how to be the best at it.”
— Susan Sarfati, CEO of High Performance Strategies and one of Meeting News’ 25 most influential women in the meetings industry

GREEN HUSHING
“Too many businesses are too quiet about their commitment to sustainability,” says Jill Doucette, founder of Victoria-based Synergy Enterprises, which helps businesses embrace sustainable best practices. “It’s the opposite of green-wash­ing. There are those who hesitate to publicize their sustain­ability policies for fear it will shine a light on what they’re not doing. It’s vital to understand that current and potential customers like to see authentic coverage of what a brand is doing in terms of sustainability. Highlighting green policies leads to brand trust.”

CHOOSING A GREEN HOTEL
It’s no longer enough to recycle towels and min­imize linen changes. The Inn at Laurel Point, the first carbon neutral hotel in British Columbia and the 2016 winner of the EcoStar Award, earns kudos for its innovative hydrothermal technology, which uses cool water from the ocean—rather than elec­tricity—to cool the rooms. The Inn also keeps 71 per cent of its waste out of the landfill, compared to 40 per cent attained by many other hotels. Visit the inn’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy. laurelpoint.com

GREEN MEETING SPACES
For many meeting planners in Canada, the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton is the gold standard of green-friendly meeting ven­ues. It’s the first conference centre in Canada to earn the Green Key level five status. The centre is known for exceeding industry best practices for building operations and main­tenance, and it’s one of only five conference centres in Canada to carry the prestigious International Green Meeting Certification. In addition to offering free waste audits, staff help clients plan waste-free, paper-free, low-impact conferences. Download the Sustainable Meetings Toolkit. shawconferencecentre.com

Did you know? By not pre-filling water glasses at banquet tables during three days of served lunches for 2,200 attendees, organizers can save 1,968 litres of water. Source: Meeting Strategies Worldwide

GREEN CAN SAVE YOU GREEN!
“There’s often an assumption—even fear—that going green will cost you money,” says Professor Rachel Dodds, a sustainability expert who teach­es in Ryerson University’s Hospitality and Tour­ism Management program in Toronto. “Reducing waste and encouraging reuse can save dollars. There’s a need to assuage that fear that grips so many business owners and operators.” An exam­ple from The Convention Industry Council: reusing name-tag badges for 1,300 conference attendees can save a meeting planner $1,200.

MAKE IT A BANNER DAY
Keep costly banners free of dates and sponsor logos so they can be reused at the next conference.

CARBON OFF-SETTING
Offset your carbon footprint. Encourage attendees to offset the envi­ronmental impact of their journey (for example, the greenhouse gas emissions emitted by air travel) to the conference or meeting. Offsetters, which helps con­sumers invest their money in projects that reduce green house gas emissions elsewhere, was the official supplier of carbon offsets to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. offsetters.ca

SO LONG SWAG-BAG
Avoid traditional event bags filled with needless paper and plastic. Consider virtual swag bags, which can contain electronic coupons, discount offers and conference literature. virtualeventbags.com

CONSIDER LOW-IMPACT CONFERENCE TOURS 
Treat conference attendees to zero-emission city tours. CVS Tours in Victoria uses electric double decker EV550 GreenPower buses. Benefits: no emissions and a quiet ride.

GREEN & SUSTAINABILITY: A BALANCING ACT
Deirdre Campbell, managing director of Beattie Tartan Integrated Communications, co-hosted the 2018 IMPACT Sustainability Travel & Tourism conference in Victoria: “Green policies and sus­tainability practices must be financially viable for a business to succeed. Consider this example: Guests at a conference were given the option of having their room cleaned only once during a three-day stay. The goal was noble—to lessen the use of soap, cleaning supplies and energy consumption. But two factors were ignored: Firstly, a room left uncleaned for three days gets really dirty and can ultimately take as much soap and energy to clean. Secondly, reducing the number of cleanings meant hotel workers were losing shifts—and income. True sustainability includes support for the local community.”

YOUR PURCHASING HAS POWER!
Jill Doucette, of Synergy Enterprises, urges conference organizers to identify—at the outset of their event-planning process—criteria to be met by all potential suppliers and service providers. Doucette vets suppliers who support her team’s sustainable commitments:

1. To encourage environmentally and socially responsible products and services

2. To support local

3. To limit waste production

4. To limit greenhouse gas emissions and reduce carbon impact

5. To give back to the community.

ENVIRONMENT CANADA'S GREEN MEETING GUIDE CHECKLIST

  • Plan meetings in a central location or near public transportation.
  • Ensure gifts or handouts are environmentally friendly and useful.
  • Publicize the fact that your meetings are green, and be prepared to share your learning.
  • Provide reports or other materials on USB drives and encourage the use of personal laptops. Only print what is necessary.
  • Use an LCD projector when necessary, being mindful of energy consumption.
  • Reuse or recycle name tags, binders, pens and other materials.
  • Add ‘green’ responsibility statements to your constitution’s executive duties.
  • Prepare a set of questions to ask suppliers to determine the extent to which they are able to service your meetings in a way that meets your green objectives.

other articles in this section

Case Study: Canadian Event Industry Awards

Stress Busters

Case Study: 100-person virtual mentoring event

The Power of Story

Event spotlight: ConferenceDirect meets at Caesars Forum Las Vegas

By the Numbers: October 2020 Edition

A Whole New [Virtual] World

Level Up

The Time is Now

Grab the Mic, Grow Your Business

Should you give interns a turn?

Up for Interpretation

Balancing Act

Back to Business: Insights from the MTCC

Back to Business: Insights from byPeterandPauls Hospitality Group

Back to Business: Insights from Industry Associations

Hands Off

Must-haves for the New Reality

Back to Business: Insights from White Oaks Resort & Spa

Gotta Get It: Golf Edition

The Art of Communication

Back to Business: Insights from Casa Loma Escape Series

The Ignite Guide to Masks

Parting thoughts

Back to Business: Insights from JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka

The new reality for... Speakers

The new reality for... Caterers

Fight Right

The new reality for... Team Building

Virtual Sponsorship How-To

The new reality for... Hotels

CanSPEP Connext Conference Kit

The new reality for... DMCs

How to turn delegates into social media brand ambassadors

The new reality for… CONVENTION CENTRES

Job Hunting Today

Your Event Contract Questions Answered

The New Reality for… RESORTS

Hack Away

Beyond Talking Heads

Keeping Connected

Be a Part of the Solution

Time Wise

One Big Virtual Reunion

There's No 'i'solation in Team

New Direction in a Time of Need

Financial Smarts

On the Bright Side

Talk to Me

Food Forward

The Value of Employee Sustainability

All the Right Moves

The Real Cost of RFPs

Valuable Video

Meetings Forecast 2020

RFP Writing 101

Epic Flight

Events that Matter

Trade Show Secrets

Taking Good Care

Oh Canada

Canadian Teambuilding

The Dilemma

We’re All in This Together

Trend Update

Vision Quest

Turn Off that Phone!

Get Into WEC 2019

No Place Like Home

Get into the Tourney

Eating Cleaner

Marriott’s Bonvoy Launches

On the Quiet Side

Getting to Know You

Lifelong Learning

Dynamic Icebreakers

New Year, New You

The Next Step

Meeting Trends 2019

Dialled In

MPAHT Signs The Code

Holographic Magic

Light Touches

Screening Room

Attendee Survival Guide

Oh Canada!

Supporting Roles

Breaking Down the Barriers

Tour Guides

Happiness Matters

Deals on Meals

You need a ‘Workation’

Pop-Up Events

Green Event Trends

Risky Business

Tee Time!

On the Quiet Side

The Next Generation

First Aid Facts

How to Get your Productivity back