To some extent, the success of your zero waste event is all about communication. Over the course of planning your zero waste event, you will need to communicate
- Internally - to the event organization, committees, staff/volunteers, green team, vendors, sponsors, exhibitors, service providers, and
- Externally - to the public and media.
Different modes and styles of communication work better for some events and not others. If the core organizing group for your event is really not into email, for example, then communicating your zero waste ideas by phone probably makes more sense.
Communication Tips and Hints:
- Use clear language that can be understood by your audience. The language of “zero waste” can get pretty complicated and it needs to be kept simple.
- Don’t move too fast! Make sure people you’re talking to are on board with the concepts of zero waste before jumping into complex issues.
- Keep reminding people of the overall vision and reason zero waste is a good idea.
- Zero waste programs need a “leader.” If you’re that person, be confident in your presentations and keep your eye on the vision. Most importantly that can only work if the leader has a supportive team.
- Consider the demographics of the audience(s) for your event in choosing your communications methods.
- Plan your pre-event advertising well in advance of the event [see Communications and Event Promotion module]
- Consider using multiple communications methods (e.g., web, radio, print) for communicating the zero waste aspects of your event.
Working Your Plan…..with gusto!
Once all of your ducks are lined up in a row, it is time to WORK the plan that you and your colleagues have developed. As you move along, you will learn that some things are worth worrying about, some things are not. Only experience teaches these things. However, a few key points to remember as the event approaches include:
- Be Flexible. Understand that most of the people you are working with are volunteers and are all at different levels of experience, interest and maturity when it comes to working with other people and with “zero waste” issues.
- Be Firm. Implementing a zero waste plan requires that everyone fulfills the commitment they have made to make the whole plan work. Help people learn from mistakes and move forward.
- Be Calm. Keep an eye on every aspect of the zero waste system. Don’t get too caught up in micro managing things that other people have been assigned to, unless there’s a real problem.
- Be Supportive. Get people moving in the right direction by demonstrating or explaining the correct approach rather than focussing on what they have done wrong……move forward.