The Corona crisis caused an almost total breakdown in the event industry within a few days at the beginning of March 2020. The pandemic hit MICE and live communication with such force as hardly any other industry. Tried-and-tested concepts, structures, and processes that had previously functioned almost perfectly were undermined overnight. And then, in April 2021, the Climate Protection Act, which stipulates that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 and that specific emission reduction targets must be set. This also applies to the event industry, which is now at the latest called upon to implement sustainable event management.
What sounds like a catastrophe at first glance turns out to be a great opportunity for the event industry to align itself with a sustainable future – the “New Normal.” Corona, in particular, has become a catalyst for alignment into a sustainable future. This includes the areas of resource-intensive corporate events, sports, trade fairs and congress activities of companies.
This is because the commissioning companies see sustainability as a cross-cutting task and have used the last few months in the pandemic to establish their corporate sustainability strategy in the planning and implementation of events as well. In the meantime, sustainability, digitalization and hygiene are set in conception, planning, in tenders and in the selection of suitable event service providers and destinations.
As a result, event agencies, location operators, exhibition stand construction companies, technical service providers, catering companies and destinations, among others, are increasingly confronted with the requirement to align their portfolios sustainably. Sustainability is no longer optional for the MICE and event industry and the direction is therefore also clear: it is moving from being optional to mandatory. Because the question is no longer “How many more orders will I get through sustainability?” but “How long will I be able to compete?”
– or as esteemed colleague and fellow campaigner Stefan Lohmann says: “Sustainability is not the problem, but the solution!”