Choose Sustainability Without Sacrificing Production Value

April 11, 2024 Array Team

With global demand for increased sustainability in all aspects of life and business, there has, of course, been a growing focus on making meetings and events more sustainable. This responsibility falls to meeting planners, who must work with every partner and vendor throughout the process to achieve this goal. Array works with our partners to ensure our part of the process helps them host a more environmentally friendly event—without asking them to sacrifice the unique, creative approaches they have developed over the years to make the meetings memorable and impactful for attendees.

The Event Industry Council has published what it calls the “Better-Good-Best Model” for sustainable events. Among the 10 topics on which they focus are choosing a sustainable venue; reducing landfill waste; using energy-efficient equipment; tracking and measuring event sustainability; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I); and supply chain management.

The following details how Array can make your meetings more sustainable and help you achieve some of these benchmark sustainability goals while still presenting the type of meeting your stakeholders rely on you to produce.

Reducing or eliminating paper use

Reducing paper usage and waste is perhaps the most obvious sustainability recommendation for meetings and many organizers have significantly reduced how much material they hand out. However, Array’s platform enables you to provide all necessary presentation materials, speaker bios, resources and even polling and evaluations to your attendees electronically. Since the entire platform is designed to your aesthetic, you don’t sacrifice branding for sustainability.

Additionally, tools incorporated into the platform on our iPads©, such as polling, gamification, and Q&A keep attendees interested and engaged with the speakers and content throughout the meeting. Introverted people can ask just as many questions – and reply to as many of your polling and survey questions—as the extroverts in the room. Attendees can also personalize their experience by taking notes on slides directly on the iPads and having them emailed to them after the meeting. Have other resources you’d like to make available upon request following the meeting? We can include a polling question where individuals can ask for those materials and you can follow up electronically.

By taking full advantage of Array’s paperless capabilities, meetings also can be more eco-friendly and more secure. Often, materials shared at life sciences meetings include proprietary, confidential information. While papers left behind at the meeting can be collected and shredded for security, many documents fall through the cracks when left in hotel rooms, taxis and elsewhere along the attendee journey.


Among the recommendations EIC offers under the Venue Selection category are to choose one that is certified, has strong environmental policies, and will work with you to encourage guests to support sustainability. However, you could also hold a virtual event to reduce all venue-related impacts or offer a hybrid option to fit individual speakers’ or attendees’ environmental goals. Array’s award-winning, patented virtual and hybrid technology provides all the engagement and data collection tools of the in-person platform. Your attendees can have the same positive meeting experience from wherever they are, and you will still get the robust insights you need to demonstrate impact and plan future meetings.

Meeting larger ESG goals

While sustainability initiatives are a significant part of larger Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) tracking, ESG compliance also focuses on goals such as DE&I and human trafficking prevention. EIC also includes both in their Good-Better-Best Model. Array’s platform aids DE&I efforts by making the material available to each and every attendee, so everyone has an opportunity to have a say via the chat, polling, evaluation and Q&A functions.

We also offer live interpretation right on the iPads. Streaming interpretation this way meets DE&I  goals because everyone can hear the meeting in their native language. It also drastically reduces the carbon footprint because there’s no need to arrange travel (often by air) for multiple interpreters or to ship their equipment, and planners don’t need to arrange to have booths built for them onsite.

Under the category of Supply Chain Management, EIC labels asking vendors questions about sustainability and human trafficking in RFPs as a Good effort. In their Best recommendation, however, they say to “Add education on how attendees can identify and report instances of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.” Educational materials on these topics can be included in the Resources tab of the Array platform so they are readily available to all attendees without being obtrusive to the content or the flow of the meeting. Additionally, if a life sciences stakeholder holds this as a goal or part of their mission, questions to ascertain attendees’ knowledge on this subject could be included to pre- and post-tests, polling or evaluations.

Tracking Sustainability Efforts

The EIC recommends tracking and measuring event sustainability in key areas. Developing a comprehensive post-event sustainability report is not feasible for many life science meeting planners. However, Array can help you develop an understanding of attendees’ experiences and perceptions so you can find room for improvement in future meetings. For instance, you can include questions in your evaluations on the Array platform to find out whether attendees thought the venue’s sustainability efforts were as-promised, if food vendors appeared to take steps to reduce waste, if the meeting met your DE&I goals, etc. You could also explore insights around if the meeting went too long so it could be shortened (reducing electrical and other resource usage), and even assess if the impact on education or content was the same for a virtual audience in a hybrid format. If the return on education was the same, you can consider going fully virtual in the future when you need an even more eco-friendly option.

Reduce your footprint, not the meeting’s value

Array combines technical support, event production expertise, and analytics interpretation and guidance to maximize the impact of in-person, virtual, and hybrid life sciences events. We partner with our clients to make sure your life sciences meeting meets your vision for audience experience and your stakeholder’s needs. Whether you’re just trying to be a little more eco-friendly or have specific ESG goals to address, our team also can help you address these without losing the production value you’re known for.

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