The Green Dividend: Unlocking Cost Savings Through Sustainable Events

October 18, 2023

Exclusively sponsored by Honeycomb Strategies

When Honeycomb Strategies talks to planners and venues about sustainability, the first challenge we hear about is cost. Naturally, to start up any operational change requires investment. But it’s a myth that sustainability is more expensive than operations-as-normal. In fact, we’re increasingly seeing cost savings from sustainable practices both in the short and long term. 

Let’s start with some sustainable solutions with short-term benefits for event planners. To reduce energy costs, contract with venues that have undergone improvements and retrofits for climate control, lighting and appliances. Venues may pass along lower utility costs or offer enhanced packages at the same price point.

Pennsylvania Convention Center
Pennsylvania Convention Center is a LEED-certified ASM Global-managed venue in Philadelphia; certifications like LEED, WELL, SITES and others lend credence to sustainability claims. Image credit: ASM Global



When it comes to signage and décor, design for reuse. Avoid using dates or seasonal hashtags on decorative materials. For a unique centerpiece, craft upcycled materials destined for the landfill. Speaking of landfill…while every venue is different, organizers are often charged for hauling trash, but not recycling or compost. By eliminating virgin production and renting rather than purchasing, you’re reducing waste and lowering your costs. And source local to minimize transportation of heavy materials long distances and save on freight costs and carbon emissions.

Digital ticketing, mobile apps and online registration reduce paper materials so planners can dramatically cut printing costs while also reducing their environmental footprint. Plus, with digital communication you can send out updates in real time, eliminating costly last-minute reprints.

Greenbuild 2022
The USGBC booth at Informa Connect’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo 2022 was a warm gathering space filled with rented foliage and plenty of rented furniture to take a rest. Image credit: WASIO, 2022


In the long term, sustainable investments today can yield lasting financial benefits. Consumers are increasingly conscious of environmental and social issues. By aligning with sustainability values, event planners can attract a loyal audience appreciative of their commitment to change. This can translate into higher attendance, increased brand loyalty and a positive impact on the bottom line. Sustainable investment is a surefire way to increase the value of your brand reputation, opening doors to skyrocketing sponsorships and audience and exhibitor retention.

In addition, waste reduction and responsible sourcing mitigate the risk of regulatory fines and legal liabilities from environmental non-compliance, safeguarding against future financial setbacks. Stay competitive as innovators by debuting technology and showcasing circularity that lower operational costs and attract forward-thinking, conscientious consumers.

NBAA’s EBACE 2023 featured popular specialty panels on sustainability and new technology, showing leadership in innovation. Image credit: NBAA


Sustainable event planning isn’t a trend, it’s a strategic choice with both immediate and long-term cost savings. From trimming expenses to building brand value, sustainability proves to be a winning financial strategy for event organizers.

Honeycomb Strategies specializes in impactful solutions for sustainable events and venues. Visit/reach out to:

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact