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The Brighton Centre celebrates Sustainable Event success!

‘Sustainable Event: The Future and You panel
The Brighton Centre last week hosted ‘Sustainable Event: The Future and You’ - a workshop that attracted a full house of over sixty conference and event organisers, industry suppliers and venues. The aim of the day was to show new technology is making it easier than ever to organise a more sustainable events that appeal to delegates and in many cases, reduces costs too.

The day featured an expert panel on The Future of Sustainable Events as well as discussions, an interactive tour of the venue and a delicious sustainable lunch. With glorious weather that showed Brighton as the perfect location for a conference, the audience heard about how it’s public transport, accommodation and other elements help make it easy to organise an environmentally friendly event in the city.

Adam Bates, Head of Tourism and Leisure at Brighton and Hove City Council kicked off the day with news of the new Sustainable Events Programme that helps event organisers make their events more sustainable using the ISO 20121 Standard for Sustainable Events. The audience were each provided with an iPad provided by AVT Connect to demonstrate the benefits of a paperless hybrid event and engagement technology. They were encouraged to give live feedback and submit questions throughout the event using the engagement technology and vote on questions during the presentations.

Panellist Andy Mead, CEO and Founder of successful local business Firefly Solar spoke about the benefits of renewable power at events. Shelaine Siepel from Brighton and Hove City Council’s Sustainability Team talked about the support available to the event organisers through the Sustainable Events Programme and the many initiatives that have increased recycling and reduced energy and water use at the Brighton Centre. Darren Johnson, VisitBrighton’s Conference Sales Manager covered what the city can offer in terms of green hotels and restaurants and Tey Mossadeghi, Head of Client Services at AVT Connect showed how hybrid events can widen participation whilst minimising the environmental footprint of the event.

A roundtable best practice session followed and groups were asked to discuss the big issues they faced across a range of sustainability related principles: waste and sustainable materials, land use and wildlife, culture and community, equity and local economy, local and sustainable food, transport, health and happiness and finally energy and water. The session showed, that the event organisers present agreed that holding a sustainable event is as much about encouraging positive benefits through initiatives, like using local food and suppliers, as it is about reducing energy use.

The Conference Team at the Brighton Centre led a tour of the recent renovations around the Centre to demonstrate the improvements made to enhance the venue's sustainability. Visitors were shown how new daylight mimicking LED lighting has improved the feel of the space as well as reducing electricity use by 85%.

Howard Barden, General Manager of the Brighton Centre was pleased with the outcome of a survey taken at the beginning and end of the event using the engagement technology “Our aim with today’s event was to demystify what sustainable events are all about. I’m really pleased that 98% of people who came said they would be implementing sustainability actions at their future events.”

Howard continued “Our task now is to get the message out to anyone organising an event at the Brighton Centre or across the city that we have a support programme in place that will help them focus on a few key sustainability areas and put in place initiatives that will appeal to their delegates.”

The workshop wrapped up with a sustainable lunch served in the Brighton Centre’s restaurant which boasts stunning views out to sea. Kudos, the Brighton Centre’s award winning caterers served a lunch that featured Sussex ingredients and was meat free. The workshop itself was run using Sustainable Event principles; waste was minimised by using the interactive iPad engagement technology and not giving out any paper whilst catering waste was minimised by catering for the exact number of delegates. Local suppliers were chosen and delegates were encouraged to leave their cars at home.

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