If you love people, keep a cool head under pressure, and know how to throw a great party, event planning offers a great home business opportunity.
The event planning industry has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. Worldwide, annual spending on special events is now estimated at $500 billion annually. In the business world, an increasing number of corporations are choosing to outsource event planning duties, while weddings and birthday parties continue to drive the event planning market in the private sector. A growing niche within the larger event planning market is green event planning, which seeks to minimize the environmental impact of events without sacrificing style, comfort, or fun.
Green Event Planning Basics
You can build your reputation and attract more customers by becoming a Certified Special Events Professional or a Certified Meeting Professional. Membership in the Green Meeting Industry Council also offers an opportunity to gain more recognition of your green event planning services, while keeping abreast of industry trends.
Some green event planners choose to specialize in particular types of events, such as green weddings, green birthday parties, green conferences, or green product launches. Others plan a wide variety of green events.
Depending on the type of event being planned, some of the issues a green event planner may need to consider include:
- Invitations. You can reduce the impact of sending invitations, especially for large gatherings, by choosing recycled or tree-free paper, or even sending electronic “e-vites.”
- Transportation. Transportation to and from the event is one of the main environmental impacts of many events, so it’s important to try to minimize travel distances for guests. Choosing a location that is well served by more eco-friendly methods of travel, such as trains and other forms of mass transit, can also reduce the event’s environmental impact considerably.
- Lodging. If guests will be staying overnight in the area, consider making lodging arrangements with eco-friendly bed and breakfasts, hotels, and other local green accommodations.
- Location. In addition to transportation and lodging issues, consider the impact of the location itself. Is the building a LEED certified energy efficient building? Is it made with eco-friendly building materials? Some types of events, such as weddings or birthday parties, may benefit from a beautiful outdoor setting, such as an organic farm, botanical center, or nature preserve.
- Food. Green event planners have benefited from a growing number of caterers specializing in gourmet organic, local, and sustainable foods. Many of these green caterers also provide eco-friendly dishes and cutlery, such as compostable disposables or recycled glassware.
- Decor. Depending on the type of event, consider choosing organic cut flowers, recycled or repurposed table settings, or other eco-friendly decorations.
Three Event Planners for a Great Green Event
dkkevents is a Los Angeles-based green events planning service founded by Deborah Kattler Kupetz. dkkevents specializes in creating events as sustainable as they are stylish, and its full list of services includes everything from technical assistance to graphic design to security.
Karine Brighten Events is a full service event planning company based in San Francisco and specializing in affordable eco-friendly events, including non-profit and corporate events, weddings, and social gatherings.
Green Lily Events is a Houston, TX-based green event planning firm. Founded by Jessica Zapatero, Green Lily Events specializes in creating elegant contemporary events with a natural and eco-friendly flair. In addition to eco-event planning, Green Lily Events also offers consulting services.
Main Image Credit: KRSPO