As the race to become more environmentally and sustainably friendly heats up, I’m finding that, despite the fact that it’s a good race, planners and suppliers alike are succumbing to poor communication techniques. We need more strong communication tactics because we are still in the early stages of changing our habits to become more environmentally conscious. This is something I keep hearing from people who attend my seminars on “greening your meeting planning techniques.” From conception to completion, an event involves a large number of people. It is critical that every person who comes into contact with the event is aware of the environmental efforts being made. If everyone is on the same page, your efforts are more likely to fall through the cracks.
It is critical to our event’s success that the venue is aware of all the facts pertaining to our specific event, as well as what the venue can provide for us. When the venue and the planner strike an agreement, it’s important for the guests to understand what that deal comprises. It could be a financial issue, a transportation issue, a food and beverage issue, or something else entirely, but the attendees are rewarded for their participation. This is standard procedure.
Environment and sustainability speakers are essential for the effectiveness of environmental rules or regulations that have been agreed upon by planners and vendors. When a link is lacking, all efforts can be rendered useless. For example, if the housekeeping staff isn’t trained and informed on the procedures, the current towel and linen reuse program, which is practically universal in our business currently, can fail. This is a scenario I hear from both planners and vendors on a regular basis. The hotel management made a choice and sought guest approval, but they failed to communicate with the entire crew, which continues to change the linens and towels on a daily basis.
Similarly, if you want individuals to participate in your greening efforts, they must be informed about what you are trying to accomplish. It’s no longer enough to say that a meeting or a hotel is environmentally friendly. The concept “becoming green” is just too broad and nebulous to grasp. What exactly are you attempting to accomplish, and how can the individual participate in the process? It is critical that the complete narrative be shared, and that everyone involved collaborates to make green policies succeed. If you want the participants to recycle their name badges, make it clear to them and make it simple for them to do so.
Our industry as a whole is requesting to be a part of this new and increasing planning approach (for some it is pushing and pulling). We must first educate ourselves before returning the favor by educating and training others. To do this, clear and unambiguous communication is required, as well as a top-down bottom-up experience. Slowly but steadily, this environmental movement is gaining traction, and as more suppliers and planners join in, these practices will become increasingly prevalent. Until then, whether you’re communicating with your director or CEO, your F&B department, your housekeeping crew, your clients, and especially your attendees, volunteers, or staff, communication is important.
All of this sounds great, but communication is only effective when two things happen:
1. The message is clear
2. The audience is listening.
Ranulph Fiennes speaker maintain open lines of communication and deliver a steady stream of information that is well-reasoned and supported. We all hear and absorb information differently, and we all process information at various rates. It’s crucial to remember that the recipient may not hear at the same level as the sender when communicating. As a result, it is critical that we evaluate the listening style.