The Rise and Role of Regenerative Event Planning

Guest Post: The Rise and Role of Regenerative Event Planning

By: GDS-Movement

Gone are the days of business as usual; it’s business unusual as the events industry reopens and reassesses.

The pandemic has put recovery and sustainability into all our minds and lives, and the data is showing that we want to do things differently – and better – in the “new normal”.

  • The Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement) 2020 Report #NatureWorks notes that 97% of event planners want to implement sustainability practices.
  • We are seeing an encouraging upward trend as more events agencies redouble their efforts to reduce impact and respect people, plane and planet through certification.
  • We are seeing very strong growth in hotel, venue and destination certifications.

Clearly, there is a deep desire to deliver events that are more circular and low impact in design and outcome. The problem is, many programs only assess if you are “doing” certain activities. The GDS-Movement believes that this focus needs to shift from “what you’re doing” to an impact focus.

The GDS-Index has updated its destination criteria to guide and assess focus on climate action, DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), biodiversity, and impact measurement. To compete and conduct itself in harmony with the place that hosts it, an organization needs to:

  • Measure what matters.
  • Implement key performance indicators with actions to create a positive impact for nature, society and the economy.
  • Report on it, both to show progress and inform the original strategy.

Standards, too, play a key role to activate and guide action. They provide checklists, tools, and often advice on how to implement sustainability into your facility, organization, or event. 

Naturally, this led to a need for a methodology that takes all aspects of the value chain into consideration. 

In Regenerative Revolution, a GDS-Movement report sponsored by the IMEX Group and Marriott International, we explore the new paradigm of event management and success: regenerative events.

Regenerative Events:

  1. Have a focus on quality, effectiveness, harmony, and wellness.

  2. Are circular by design, aiming for energy, natural resources, and materials to be conserved, enriched, reused, recycled, and used to enhance equitable development.

  3. Design out waste and pollution, and improve resilience by increasing diversity, inclusivity, and equality.

  4. Focus on regenerating and rejuvenating natural systems and communities. 

This means event materials should be non-toxic (to all life), be reused, or recycled. This means single-use plastics are eradicated upfront. This means food and beverage are sourced from local suppliers to build community, economy, and reduce emissions. This means we ask what legacy will this event leave? And we ask it before we start it. This means, “Hannuwa.”

“Hannuwa” is an ancient San word from South Africa that means the gathering of good fortune through living in harmony with our natural environment.

The GDS-Movement’s Hannuwa  is a globally applicable framework for event management with 4 key principles listed above and an 8-step methodology:

Hannuwa can help you with event planning, resourcing, procurement, and production in a way that optimizes human well-being and the environment. 

Are you ready to reset?

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