It’s tough working with a venue that has not seen the light yet in terms of sustainability but there are still things that you can do!
With the venue, you can make sure you choose sustainable catering options; locally sourced, cater for a range of diets, top marks for providing a locally grown vegetarian meal! No disposable crockery or cutlery. Fairtrade tea and coffee. You can also make use of natural daylight so you can switch some lights off in your conference rooms.
Also, money talks: you could make it clear to your venue that sustainability is important to you and so you will not be using them next year if they cannot show you an environmental policy that addresses their plastic waste.
One area that you can work on is reducing materials provided to your delegates. You could check them in electronically on arrival (you could even use the Eventbrite app!) and ask them not to print out their ticket.
You could reduce the number of handouts that you give - do you need to give every delegate their own information pack? Could you print a pile and then people can take and leave as needed? You could also use screens around the venue to show key information such as the programme for the day, to reduce the need for delegates to have their own handouts.
Gifts for delegates; if you must give these out, make them useful so they are not thrown away.
That’s a few quick thoughts but I have loads more, let me know if you’d like any more tips! All the best…