The Sustainable Meetings Conference is an annual conference hosted by the Green Meetings Industry Council (GMIC) that brings together meetings and events industry professionals to focus on a single mission – transforming an industry by integrating sustainability into the entire life-cycle of event planning and execution.
GMIC has a partnership with the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) research department and this year, GMIC commissioned a study that was conducted by the UNLV College of Hotel Administration, designed to analyze how corporate brands use live events to underscore their sustainability practices. Las Vegas Sands (LVS) proudly sponsored this initiative, along with the Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau. LVS not only contributed financially to this study, but also engaged its corporate meeting clients to participate in the interview and survey.
Three of our LVS Team Members represented the company at the Sustainable Meetings Conference last month in Baltimore: Jenny Yu-Mattson, executive director of global sustainability at LVS, Ailynn Seah, executive director of sales at Marina Bay Sands and Ryan Green, Sustainable Events Manager at Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
The results of the study were discussed at the conference and there were some key observations made by our trio of team members as well. Most notably, was the underlying theme at the conference around the belief that there is often a breakdown in communication between planners and suppliers when engaging in discussions about sustainability programs and available options. According to participants at the conference, planners don’t always ask about sustainability options because they feel the information should be readily available and conversely, suppliers typically don’t provide information unless planners specifically ask for it.
Our team members surmised that suppliers generally don’t want to seem too aggressive when discussing sustainable options to planners. However, as noted by Green, this mindset seems to be causing a lack of engagement because interested planners might not learn about sustainability offerings. A key takeaway for Green is that communication is key and a supplier should tell every single client about their available sustainable programs.
While there, our team members also had the opportunity to tour the Baltimore Convention Center and were impressed by their use of induction lighting, front-of-house recycling program, food dehydration system, as well as their herb garden on the roof-top public patio that was embedded in the general landscaping. A key takeaway from their tour and trip was the convention center’s use of signage and the Sands Expo in Las Vegas has already made some adjustments to its signage based on these findings, labeling containers more clearly and in both English and Spanish.
The Sands ECO360 program continues to be industry-leading in the green meeting space and attending conferences like this one provides our team members with the unique opportunities to learn new insights and share best practices with other industry professionals.