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Why and how to go paperless at your next event

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In today’s digital culture there is no excuse for companies and individuals to ignore sustainable practices. Everything from what you eat which contributes to 60% of global biodiversity loss, to where you hold an event can have an effect on the environment. If you are planning on holding an event in the near future, one way to make that event (and the succeeding ones) even greener is by going paperless. In this article we’ll take a look at why you should go paperless and give you pointers on how to proceed.

Why organise a paperless event?

Arguably the biggest reason to go paperless is that the technology exists to do so. The Telegraph reports that scan-to-cloud tech can digitise documents and upload them to a cloud server. Attendees can simply access the document through their phone or laptop (see below). Using a cloud server will provide better security as important information will only be available to those with permission to access it. Important paper documents are easy to misplace.

Going paperless is also a good way to streamline how you organise an event. This improved workflow is something every industry is starting to become more aware of. A Verizon Connect post on why companies should go paperless explains how making the change can help employees be more efficient with their time. The article uses fleet managers as an example and details how they have eradicated paper work for “job tickets, receipts and invoices” to reduce the chance of human error, which in turn leads to wasting time. Having everything on a digital server will ensure that all event organisers are on the same “page” and reduce the chances of any mix-ups or mistakes that could end up being costly.

How to go paperless

Here are four simple tips on how to organise a paperless event:

  1. Explore digital solutions

Many activities in the event organising process can be digitised. Business Matters recommends sending out email invites or announcing the event on social media instead of paper invitations. This allows the event organiser to make use of videos and pictures, which can create extra buzz that paper invites can’t. You can also create an online community who can engage with you and each other prior to your event.

  1. Use an event app

An event app is an almost all-in-one digital solution. In our post ‘Top Tips on Planning an Eco-friendly Event’, we explained how an event app can “help your delegates manage and navigate the event from their smartphone.” It can help you connect to your attendees before, during, and after the event; create listings and attendee profiles; provide event details; send out invites; and make community forums.

  1. Incentivise going paperless

When your event involves other parties, like speakers and exhibitors, make sure you incentivise going paperless. In other words, give speakers perks for making lecture materials available online or on the cloud rather than giving out hand-outs. Give “green” exhibitors discounts for going all-digital, or give them top billing in your own digitised invitations and programmes.

  1. Announce the paperless initiative

Lastly, announce to everyone that your event is paperless. Doing so involves everyone else in your endeavour. It can even be the event’s unique selling point, and will reflect positively on your organisation.

The benefits of going paperless in your events are undeniable and the best part is that it is easy to do. Just follow the four tips we have given and you’ll be well on your way to organising paperless events.


exclusively written for By Lou Sanders


Posted within: Blog

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