Sustainability with Make Events and London Convention Bureau at the Treehouse Hotel (November 2022)

We collaborated with our partners London Convention Bureau and Make Events this month on an exclusive roundtable at the Treehouse Hotel discussing sustainability.

The evening provided our members with an opportunity to hear from their peers, a venue, an events agency and a convention bureau on this important topic.  As event professionals, we all have an important role to play in ensuring that our footprint on the world is minimised for future generations via the events we deliver for our organisations

After welcome drinks and nibbles in Pizzeria Mozza, we headed off for a site visit of the event spaces followed by our discussion and a private dining experience.    

The discussion and dinner took place in one of two available private dining spaces within the Treehouse Hotel.  The space holds up to 12 people and is on the same floor as their gorgeous restaurant – Madera which serves delicious inspired Californian / Mexican food – with in-built audio for background music, views of London etc.  

Our discussion was super interesting and provided opportunities to hear from a number of voices from around the table to understand what stage we were all at in this journey to make our events as sustainable as possible. 

Majority of attendees are doing the usual steps of no plastic, reducing printing, reducing meat options on the menu, increasing plant based options, using local and in-season produce etc. But are unsure of where to go next on this journey which was reassuring to see that we are all at a similar stage. Make Events, London Convention Bureau and the Treehouse Hotel shared their approach along with amazing insights and tips of how they collaborate with their clients to deliver sustainable events. Members also exchanged their experiences, insights and knowledge with each other.   

Key takeaways include: 

– You don’t have to do everything at once! Small steps are better than none. Concentrate on getting these right and understand the outputs before moving onto the bigger steps. 

– Engage with your supply chain: ask them what they are doing, how they would work with you and what their sustainability policies are. Also feel empowered to challenge stakeholders within your supply chain to ensure you are only working with those with the same purpose. 

– Communication is key with your delegates. Make them feel part of the journey by sharing what steps you’ve put in place, what the measurements and outputs are: and how they can get involved.  

– We love and hate swag in equal measures!! Make swag something delegates will re-use so less branded items which will go to the back of the cupboard or worst in the bin – no more notebooks, pens, water bottles, coffee cups etc. Instead, reusable non-branded items that still connect the delegate with the event but are thoughtful, sustainable and stylish! The QR code is also making a comeback so no need to print materials! 

– Budgets are a huge concern for event professionals, with tight budgets already, to make events green this involves extra budget – and resources in some cases – this goes back to starting small and understanding the impact to allow us to sell and obtain the additional budget required. 

– Think about the legacy your event is leaving on the local community where the event was held.  Can you make a charity donation to a local charity or incorporate volunteering into your agenda for your delegates?

– Travel is back and it is needed. But think carefully and consciously about the travel – is it really needed? If so, what method of travel is best? Partner with airlines and airports that are contributing to making the planet better eg with different aviation fuels, airports working to be greener, pay the extra money for the flight for your green contribution. Select sustainable destinations to hold the event.  Offset your carbon emissions.  

– There is always a solution and alternatives available so we can make a change and a difference.  

– Go back to basics, at the outset ask yourself what are you trying to achieve and get all stakeholders and suppliers involved with the event onboard with these objectives from the outset.  Don’t make this an after thought of trying to make it sustainable half way through the planning stage.

Overall, by working closely with your venue, event agency, convention bureau and other stakeholders; within the supply chain you can take steps towards making your event more green.  And remember to track and measure the metrics to demonstrate the results.  

After the discussion we were treated to a sharing feast of food.  The food we enjoyed throughout the evening in both restaurants was delicious.  We primarily enjoyed a plant based menu which was full of flavours, amazing presentation and surprised people how much they enjoyed a meal without having meat/fish. Another great example by the venue of how they incorporate sustainability into their food and drink offering – even their straws are made from avocado stones!  

With a strong sustainability approach, delicious food and outstanding service the hotel is an excellent option to hold events in a central London location. As well as the two private dining spaces, other event spaces within the hotel include:

– private or semi private hire of Madera restaurant, the space is gorgeous with a large central bar, open kitchen and amazing views of London:

– private hire or small groups in Nest their rooftop bar area.  The Nest is gorgeous and screams boujee so perfect for celebrations. The wrap up around terrace provides ample views of London and also has heaters and covers for those London days when the sun is not shining; and

– Pizzeria Mozza, the restaurant adjacent to the hotel which can be hired exclusively or for smaller group bookings.  The restaurant serves delicious Italian food full of flavours.  

Please do reach out if you would like more details on joining THE network for corporate event professionals or to be introduced to our hosts for the evening.

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