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Social Media Roundup: Two Ways to Reduce Waste

By / Jul 28, 2014 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Keep the waste at your events to a minimum by taking simple, sustainable steps. Also: Don’t waste your time—or vendors’—by asking for proposals before you’re ready.

The thing with waste, no matter its form, is that it’s easier to avoid when you plan ahead. Two ideas on this front in today’s Social Media Roundup:

Ceramics, Not Polystyrene

Trying to make your event more eco-friendly is definitely easier said than done. But everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right? And if you need a starting point, you could certainly do a lot worse than sustainability specialist Shawna McKinley’s roundup of basic ideas to help improve the environmentally sound practices at your gathering.

One prime sustainability offender: the coffee station, a place that’s traditionally filled with nonrecyclable containers and single-serving cups. By switching to reusable mugs, linen-free tables, and bulk dispensers, organizations can avoid a lot of waste.

“Some facilities may be limited in their ability to totally eliminate disposables, especially if full kitchen or dish-washing facilities are lacking,” she writes. “However, zero waste can still be achieved in this situation if compostable disposables are used in concert with a composting program.”

Read more of her insights on the Event Manager Blog. (ht @psalinger)

Too Soon for Proposals?

Don’t be scattershot with your requests for proposals or you may not get what you’re looking for.

That’s the overriding point that DelCor’s Tobin Conley makes in his latest blog post, suggesting that simply putting out an RFP call to vendors isn’t enough anymore. He recommends releasing a request for information (RFI) first, to narrow the field of good candidates for the project. He tells the story of an association employee who was on the lookout for a new content management system vendor but failed to get the best matches interested because she asked for proposals without offering prospective candidates enough information to develop a proper proposal, and she didn’t whittle down the list to the most suitable vendors for the job. Consequently, many vendors passed on doing the large amount of work required for a solid proposal.

“Vendors didn’t have the information they needed to submit an accurate proposal, and they weren’t supposed to call her, so they didn’t bother,” Conley writes.

An RFI is better for vetting vendors because it “helps to narrow down the field by finding out who has the relevant experience and expertise,” he says. The result? Less wasted time on both sides of the coin. (ht @delcor)

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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