How to put sustainability at the heart of your 2023 corporate events

The event industry still has a way to go when it comes to direct impact on the environment but by taking practical steps together UK businesses can create positive change for our clients, communities and the planet.

At BeaconHouse Events we take conscious steps to reduce the impact of our delivery at every step of the process, including putting sustainability clauses in all contracts, communicating with our clients and guests electronically, minimising travel during the planning stages and sharing best practice so we can continually learn how to do things more efficiently.

Small steps can create big change. Here are some practical tips to make sure your 2023 events make a real difference…

1 Leave real footprints, not carbon ones

Firstly, consider whether your event will have the same impact as an online experience, this will help you cut down on unnecessary travel right from the get-go. If you do decide that an in-person event is the way forward, make sure you communicate green travel choices to delegates well in advance so they can plan ahead. Include information on safe walking routes to the venue, e-transport options like e-bikes or scooters and the closest bus and rail connections so people don’t have to rely on cars or taxis to reach you. If you know you have delegates arriving from the same location offer a ride-share service or encourage car-pooling by putting delegates in touch with each other ahead of the event.


2 Track and TRACE

You don’t know how far you have come if you don’t know where you started! Work with an event team who use carbon tracking platforms like TRACE to gather data and report on the carbon footprint of your events, allowing you to benchmark your progress year on year. Clearly communicate what sustainability steps have been taken with your team and your guests and encourage 360 feedback on where there could be improvements next time. Not only will feedback give you valuable learnings, by raising awareness of your environmental commitments you are more likely to attract and retain skills to your business.


3 Don’t be trashy

Where possible give marketing materials and equipment a life outside of your event rather than throwing them away and use digital platforms to communicate key messages. Print materials like lanyards on recyclable stock, not just from sustainable materials, and incentivise guests to bring their own reusable bottles by offering free refills or prize draws. Everyone loves a challenge, gamifying recycling onsite can add a little healthy competition to proceedings, while putting your sustainability message front of mind.


4 Live life on the veg

Food is always a big draw at any event and providing vegetarian or plant-based catering is a tasty way to cut down your carbon footprint. According to the UN, meat and dairy accounts for 14.5% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions, which is roughly the same as the exhaust from every car, train, ship and aircraft on the planet! Work with caterers to offer high-quality veggie alternatives and if you don’t want to go fully meat-free consider using produce that meets farm assurance standards such as LEAF, a standard that links farming and the environment. When it comes to serving up, a buffet or bulk-serve experience is a much greener option than individually packaged portions and double check your cutlery and plates aren’t single use too.


5 Go digital

There are plenty of tech solutions that can make your life easier and give you eco-friendly points in the process. Use digital signage to help your delegates navigate the venue and communicate electronically with guests and each other wherever possible. If there is information for guests to take home, send links to downloadable handouts and use digital screens to gather and share ideas rather than paper flip-charts.

If you do have to print make sure you arrange for it to be collected and recycled, reuse sheets for printing drafts and print on both sides of the page in black and white rather than colour. Consider vegetable oil based inks or work with suppliers that share your sustainability goals.


6 LED the way  

Use spaces that utilise LED lighting rather than fluorescent, the former uses much less power per unit of light emitted and there will be limited difference in the look and feel of the space. Equipment that uses LED lighting is usually a lot lighter and event spaces need less of it – that means that production companies need smaller vehicles and less trips to get the equipment on site too.


7 Give back

CSR and SDG are likely to be high on your agenda in 2023, offer delegates the opportunity to pay-it-forward and support an environmental or sustainably conscious charity through ticket donations. Alternately offer tips on how a business can offset their carbon emissions by getting involved in tree-planting or green energy initiatives.

If there are any event freebies left after the event give them back to the sponsor so they can be used at a future event, donate them to charity or advertise on an online marketplace like Facebook, freecycle or OLIO.

For more information on BeaconHouse Events or to speak to the team about your 2023 goals email or give us a call on 0191 691 3456.

Nine details to nail at your corporate events in 2023

Not the case.

The team at BeaconHouse Events have decades of experience in creating meaningful corporate events. From sustainability to accessibility, the power of tech and getting people talking. Here’s a compilation of the top things to focus on to make sure your event delivers real value in 2023 (and there isn’t a beige buffet in sight).

1 Understand what your audience (and you) actually want

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to events and it’s important to take a step back before leaping into decision making. Consider what you are really trying to achieve by bringing people together – are you looking to inspire your team, create new ideas or connect like-minded people? This all affects the look and feel of the experience and how your event plays out. Likewise, if your audience are looking to network and re-connect, make sure you build in time for great conversation rather than having speakers back to back. Do your research in advance and everyone should come away feeling like they have had the space to get what they need from the experience.


2 Treat your guests like VIPs before they walk through the door

Your event starts long before the delegates arrive on-site. Spend time creating an enjoyable user experience from the moment they visit the website through to the booking system, welcome emails and how to find the venue meaning your guests will arrive in a much more relaxed and positive frame of mind. Remember, delegates don’t evaporate once the event is over either, make sure you have a solid plan to follow up and keep them engaged in the experience once the event has ended.


3 A warm welcome

Make sure everyone has a warm, friendly welcome on arrival and be prepared to listen and solve any problems or questions that might rear their head. Arm yourself and your team with answers to FAQs (Do I have to pay for parking? What time does the keynote start? Is there a gluten free option?) as well as local information such as local cafes with wifi, restaurants or amenities. The welcome station is a great time to mention future events and give key sponsors a shout-out too!


4 Creative talking points

Beat the awkward small talk by creating little surprises to get people talking as they navigate the venue. At BeaconHouse Events we’ve employed everything from Geordie signage to jukebox requests performed by a live pianist and photo opportunities to make people smile. By giving your guests little moments of wonder, it will give them things to chat about with other delegates, tell their colleagues back at the office and maybe even share on their social channels.


5 Work with suppliers you trust

Find caterers, AV suppliers, room dressers and corporate events experts who are the best in the business and who you trust will deliver on their promises. Working with the right partners will allow you to focus on the content of the event and frees you up to manage the other parts of your role that don’t just disappear when there is an event on the horizon. Don’t be sucked in by a low price, look at who will deliver quality services that your guests will remember.


6 Innovative or themed catering

At BeaconHouse Events we’re on a mission to ban beige buffets! It’s difficult to be creative and retain information with a rumbling stomach or over a soggy egg sandwich. Treating your guests to an interesting, tasty menu can create more energy, better engagement and higher retention of information. Plus, guests will talk about the food if it is good, but they’ll talk about it much more if it is poor.


7 Get tech to do the hard work

Investing in great tech can make your event as easy as possible, giving you more headspace to concentrate on real human connection. Look into digital registration so there are no queues on arrival, get your website or event app up to date with all of the relevant information guests will need beforehand, set up a what3words location for your event space and a # for any networking groups or for delegates to share thoughts and content from the main event on social media.

You’re here live, you’re not a cat! We all remember the tech fails of the pandemic so whether your event is IRL, digital or hybrid – make sure you test, test and test again so everyone is comfortable with how the platforms work. The best events can be knocked off course by shaky tech and everyone will feel much more comfortable on the day. Bring in a great tech team who really know their stuff; it all adds to smooth and professional delivery.


8 Obvious and actionable sustainability choices

Sustainability must be at the heart of your event strategy in 2023 and it becomes pretty obvious when it is an afterthought.

Make sure your guests are aware of the ways that you are contributing to low-carbon goals with clear signage and notifications on the lead up to the event, even little details can make all the difference to how people perceive the event. Try printing your lanyards on material that can be recycled (not JUST from sustainable stock), use digital rather than single use signage, encourage delegates to bring reusable bottles, gamify recycling onsite, advertise walking routes and e-transport options to and at the event and work with catering teams and venues to implement details like vegetarian food choices and sustainably sourced, recyclable tableware. Start engaging with audiences from the start of their journey with you so they are totally on board pre and post-event.


9 Prioritise accessibility

Accessibility isn’t just a buzzword and you will get much more value from an event if everyone is comfortable and able to make their voice heard. As well as ensuring that your chosen venue is accessible for anyone with mobility issues, you could create a quiet breakout space for anyone who needs it, digital brochures for anyone with sight or hearing impairments or pronoun badges to make everyone feel welcome and safe.

For more information on BeaconHouse Events or to speak to the team about your 2023 goals visit or give us a call on 0191 691 3456.