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Creating a Sustainable Conference: ITM's Socially Responsible Approach

Building social strategies and charitable donations into your project plan from the start means you can look at new ways to create items you would have normally bought new as well as make sure anything suitable has an onward route that you can shout about before your event begins.

For the 2023 ITM Conference (Institute of Travel Management) which took place in Brighton in April, the organising team were keen to keep in mind one of their key conference themes, sustainability. In order to do so they chose to talk to Event Cycle to look at ways we could help with the materials they needed to purchase. After cutting out all waste where possible, ITM is only purchased a few physical things for their event, lanyards, some graphics and table centrepieces.

Centrepieces with purpose

Whilst ITM could use a run-of-the-mill florist, they chose not to, instead opting to build social impact into their table centrepieces as part of their commitment to their conference theme. And they got the live audience involved too!

Working with Event Cycle, ITM selected an organisation that works to grow low-impact, local and vegan-grown flowers, half of which are dried on-site using natural processes rather than bleach and chemicals. These are then arranged with fresh flowers to produce low-carbon arrangements for weddings, parties and events.

Looking to have centrepieces for their gala dinner, ITM put on a workshop during the conference to teach each table how to produce its own centrepiece and taught them all about organic flower growing and sustainability whilst they did it.. Not an unusual task for Hearts & Flowers because on top of producing flowers with as little impact as possible, they also run activities and projects in Brighton & Hove focused on organic flower growing and promoting ethical floristry and horticulture. As well as this, the team runs horticulture projects for people and groups with barriers to accessing nature and enjoying flowers in their natural environment. A truly social way to produce a flowery focal point!

Made for a longer life

Once the conference was complete the 58 centrepieces were passed on to have a second life too. Bringing a little bit of joy into the lives of a local care home. Event Cycle made sure the centrepieces found their way to The Pines Care and Nursing Home Hove located less than a mile down the road from where the event took place. Making sure the flowers live on for as long as they can.

The flowers were passed on without their vases because those could be reused for another job and the care home already had its own - waste-saving again. Wanting to run a workshop of their own, the care home put on a flower arranging session for the residents using the flowers that had arrived from the conference. And thinking about waste a little more, the home will be drying out the fresh flowers to keep them for longer too.

In the meantime, the rest of the arranged flowers will find their way into common spaces and resident bedrooms providing a cheery addition they wouldn’t normally have.

“[We] can’t thank you enough for the donation of the beautiful flowers from the conference.
Our residence had fun and thoroughly enjoyed some flower arranging. They always love and of course it’s a nice bit of décor around the home too.”
The Pines Care and Nursing Home Hove

Backdrops and badges

With badges on paper, the lanyards are the only item left to save from the waste for the registration team. These can be recycled if sent through the correct route and TerraCycle provides the responsible route for this. The used and leftover lanyards were sent to Terracycle to make sure they don’t end up in landfill and the badges were shredded and recycled.

And last but not least the backdrops to the conference aren’t going to go to waste either.

They will be finding their way to a second home as part of funky furniture produced by one of our partners creating concept furniture for events. Built-in a modular manner, the block can be rearranged to create new shapes, surfaces and even full exhibition stands. The material from ITM will be blended with other reclaimed fabrics to produce the intriguing set and prop pieces.

Build social impact in from the beginning with Event Cycle. Talk to us today:


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