Game-Changing Event Sustainability Apps: A Roundup of Top Innovations
The development of mobile and web apps in the events industry has brought with it all kinds of benefits, both for organisers in the lead-up to the event and for attendees that experience smoother and more easily accessible event information. As well as assisting with planning, virtual hosting, check-in and scheduling, another area that event apps are making an impact is sustainability.
Sustainability is a hot topic across all kinds of industries. But events in particular have come under the spotlight recently because of things like the amount of waste generated by large in-person events or the environmental impact of having high numbers of attendees travelling to an event, often from overseas.
There’s always more that we could and should be doing to lessen the environmental damage that events can have, and sustainability apps are one thing helping organisers and attendees to be more mindful of what an event really costs. In this article, we’re going to highlight some of the game-changing event sustainability management apps on the market at the moment, as well as explain why promoting sustainability at events is so important.
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How Can Apps Improve Sustainability at Events?
Apps are already making it easier to handle many aspects of event planning and management. Digital ticketing, online schedules, virtual forums for networking, AI applications and the ability to host events online as well as in person are all features of existing event apps for conferences and trade shows that have made a big difference.
When it comes to how to create sustainable events, apps can make a significant impact very easily by the fact that they get rid of the need for a lot of printing. Tickets, timetables and flyers can all be digitised and shared on the app instead, cutting out the need for a huge amount of paper and saving a lot of waste.
By using apps like the ones we have mentioned below, event organisers can also get a much better idea of the environmental impact their event has, such as each attendee’s carbon footprint or the amount of energy needed in the venue. Having apps specifically designed to collect environmental data means that organisers can be much more efficient with how they use resources and understand where they should focus their sustainability efforts. They’ll also have accurate data they can use to report on their sustainability as well.
Apps that help sustainability are not only useful for event organisers to track environmental impact, but they can be used by attendees as well. If attendees are able to calculate their carbon footprint from travelling to an event for example, they may be encouraged to choose greener transport options, which helps the event overall have less of an environmental impact.
Finally, sustainability apps for businesses in the events industry can help to improve sustainability because they set a precedent for organisers to be aware of their impact and actively work to monitor and reduce this. The more events that do this and use these apps, the more that will join, and the greener the industry will become as a whole.
The 5 Best Event Sustainability Apps
Today’s top sustainability apps are used for all kinds of things, but in the events industry they can help event planners measure, track, and improve the sustainability of their events, including waste reduction, carbon offsetting, and sustainable sourcing. Successfully using these apps can have a positive impact on both the environment and the attendee experience.
Let’s take a look at five of the best apps for sustainability in events on the market at the moment.
TRACE is a platform produced by isla, a non-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainability in the events industry. The app is a carbon measurement platform that allows event organisers to see what the environmental cost of their events is, whether they’re held in person, hybrid or online.
The reports generated by TRACE happen in real-time, giving event organisers the data they need to take action and consciously lower their event’s carbon emissions and environmental impact. Users can look at carbon footprints, the quantity of waste produced and other metrics to get a full idea of where they need to make improvements.
TRACE is a fantastic platform for event organisers to get a full idea of how their events are impacting the planet. The data it provides and the conclusions it draws can easily be used to draw up plans to make events more sustainable, and downloading and using the app supports an organisation that is also working to bring about change in the industry.
My Event Footprint
My Event Footprint is a free, web-based app that is designed to make it easy to turn event sustainability data into stories that can be used to talk about the impact of your events. It works by taking pieces of data about attendee numbers, transport options, food and even packing decisions and then calculates how this will have affected the environment and can be used either on an individual level or by event organisers to see the impact of their entire event.
It’s not as complex as some of the other, paid apps on the market at the moment, but My Event Footprint is a really easy-to-use tool that gives you data that can immediately be used to measure and visualise your event’s environmental impact.
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WeTrack is a company that makes planning and control software and tools for the events industry. Along with classic project management, scheduling, venue assessment and risk management tools, the company is also releasing a new sustainability module.
The WeTrack sustainability tool lets you view all of your event’s environmental goals and track your progress towards each one and report on the impact. It’s currently in a beta testing stage, but the rest of the company’s software is very popular, so it’s expected to be an incredibly useful platform for sustainable event management.
Travel Carbon Calculator
Travel Carbon Calculator is an app that was produced in partnership with Ecolibrium, a charity organisation aiming to tackle travel emissions in the events industry in particular. It was created in 2021 as the events industry started to revive itself and the company anticipated a surge of travelling for events, and wanted to create an easy way for artists and planners to keep track of their impact.
The free app can be used to measure carbon emissions from transport, allowing users to calculate how much of an impact their journeys to and from events are having. Along with giving users access to this data, the app also suggests how users can balance these emissions by donating to charities or projects that are helping the environment.
It’s a fantastic app that encourages more proactive tracking of emissions, making it easy to see where you can reduce your impact and how best to do this.
SpotMe does a range of event software, but one of their products is designed to help promote more sustainable events by making attendees aware of their carbon footprint when they register for the events. It includes a module that appears when attendees register for events that asks them how they are going to travel and then estimates what the carbon footprint of this will be and suggests how they can make more sustainable choices.
Offering hybrid events can help to reduce emissions by stopping attendees from having to travel in order to take part in an event. SpotMe’s product also has a template that helps you consider sustainability in multiple areas when planning an event, such as gamifying sustainable practices or finding ways to replace merchandise (which often goes to waste) with digital content that is much more valuable.
The Importance of Sustainable Events
As well as understanding what’s on the market right now and what’s to come in the future, it’s important to understand why we should make an effort to host sustainable events and use things like apps to make it easier to track progress and offer environmentally-friendly options for attendees.
The first, and biggest, reason for organising sustainable events is that it’s good for the planet! The events industry contributes massively to carbon emissions and can be a huge source of waste, and as climate change accelerates, it’s everyone's responsibility to take better care of our environment.
As we’ve already mentioned, hosting consciously sustainable events is also important because it sets a standard in the industry that encourages other event organisers to follow. The more people that use sustainability apps and make sustainable choices, the more that will follow, and hopefully the industry as a whole will start to have much less of an environmental impact.
Increasing concerns over climate change means that a lot of people are opting to support brands and businesses that have ‘green’ values and are conscious about their impact on the planet. If you use the best apps for sustainability as part of your event and promote the ways that your event is sustainable, you’re likely to attract more attendees that are concerned about the environment and your event has an attractive edge that sets you apart from the competition.
Finally, advertising sustainability and making sustainable choices with your event is good for your overall brand image. It’s important to only promote efforts or commitments that you’re genuinely making so that you don’t get accused of greenwashing, but this will be seen by many attendees as a benefit and help to generate a strong and positive image of your event.
The intersection between technology and sustainability efforts is only just starting to grow, and it’s likely that we’ll see a lot more apps that help sustainability released in the events industry in the near future. Events planners can also consider using apps that help sustainability in a more general sense, such as food waste apps that prevent good food being thrown away and using these to reduce any waste created by your event. You could also encourage attendees to use clothing rental apps or second-hand clothing apps to choose outfits for more formal events, and share recommendations of ride-share apps to promote greener transport options.
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