A 2007 IMEX poll shows that conference organisers are becoming more receptive to - and in fact prefer - environmental strategies.
Highlights from the annual opinion poll of global meeting professionals include:
- 73% of buyers would deliberately avoid destinations/venues known to have a poor environmental record. This is up 7% from 2006.
- 75% of buyers take environmental considerations into account when planning a meeting or incentive program, compared to 67% in 2006.
- Selecting a location close to attendees, recycling conference material and the availability of public transport were the most important environmental criteria for buyers.
- 77% of buyers indicated the meetings industry will have to take the environment into serious account in future, up from 67% in 2006.
- 49% saw merit to introducing an eco-tax on conferences, dropping 5% from 2006.
Buyers surveyed were highly concerned about the impact of transportation, indicating the following priorities in reducing the environmental impact of their events:
- Picking a location in or around a city with good transportation options.
- Providing convenient and timely transportation options that are low impact and offset.
- Picking a city that is close to the majority of attendees.
- Providing ride share mechanisms.
IMEX summarises the findings from their research:
The overall impression arising from this survey is that MICE specialists are now looking more eagerly for ways to apply environmental strategies. With an eye to the future these top buyers call for more case-studies of successful green programmes, suggest that environmental suppliers should be accredited, and propose that the industry should increasingly reward those destinations that are greenest by using them the most. This report concludes with a perceptive comment from the chairman of a leading business improvement agency. He writes: "I am no eco-warrior, but I think our industry should apply self-determined concern and action today for fear otherwise that it becomes and issue of consumer backlash in the future".
For the complete press release please visit the IMEX web site.
The IMEX Global Data Exchange encourages and facilitates the international dissemination of data and opinions on topics associated with the meetings industry. Material is collated from original surveys, published academic papers, insights derived from trade associations, and from the authorised work of commercial and other relevant professional bodies.