November/December 2021

Cover illustration by Chloe Niclas

print edition

‘A Small Window’ to Heal the Planet

Jane Goodall and Bill Gates are hopeful about changing the course of the climate crisis — and the events industry has a big role to play.

BY Michelle Russell November 24, 2021

Business Events and the Planet

The climate crisis must be addressed head-on by the business events industry.

BY Sherrif Karamat November 24, 2021

National Bike Summit: Pedaling for a Sustainable Future

The League of American Bicyclists’ virtual 2021 event drew the most attendees ever, and the organization plans to challenge participants at next year’s hybrid event — which they hope will be even larger — to think about how to link bicycling with climate change.

BY Casey Gale November 24, 2021

Forestry Group’s Focus: a Sustainable Future for All Communities

Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s 2021 annual conference, held virtually, doubles the number of attendees as organization commits to new diversity, equity, and inclusion policy.

BY Casey Gale November 24, 2021

UN Conference Director Wanted to ‘Make the Impossible Happen’

Laura Lopez is capping off her decades-long United Nations career as director of conference affairs for the UN Framework, which organizes climate change meetings including the annual COP conference.

BY Barbara Palmer November 23, 2021

Climate Conferences on the Agenda

COP26 hasn’t been the only conference to address the climate crisis. A number of other significant events have recently taken place with the environment, sustainability and climate change at the center of their missions.

BY Convene Editors November 23, 2021

Authors Urge Humanity to Remain Hopeful

Two newly published books by Jane Goodall and Katharine Mayhoe are meant to guard against despair in the face of the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

BY Michelle Russell November 23, 2021

Raising the Roof on Convention Center Sustainability

The rooftop Farm at the Javits Center will grow 40 different crops and 40,000 pounds of produce annually — all to be incorporated into meals served at events on site.

BY Barbara Palmer November 22, 2021

Event F&B: Sense of Place, on a Plate

Event venues are intentionally partnering with underrepresented local purveyors to make their menus more sustainable and meaningful.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst November 22, 2021

Growing Appetite for Local Ingredients on Event Menus

More event venues are sourcing local ingredients for their menus, resulting in real positives: It supports good health and a community’s economy, and helps the environment in a number of ways.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst November 22, 2021

Making Conference Swag Sustainable

Swag shouldn’t be stuff we all give or get but should stand for something, according to one company, Ethical Swag. 

BY Michelle Russell November 15, 2021

New York Times Climate Hub Plants Big Ideas Beneath the Trees

Artist Es Devlin turned part of a Glasgow venue into an immersive live forest — called “The Conference of the Trees” — for The New York Times Climate Hub, a hybrid event that took place at the same time as COP26.

BY Jennifer N. Dienst November 15, 2021

How This Sustainability Leader Found Purpose In Her Field

Kimberly Lewis, board chair of clean energy nonprofit Groundswell, spoke with Convene about finding her calling, uplifting diverse communities into leadership roles, and making events people-centric.

BY Casey Gale November 11, 2021

Acknowledging Indigenous Peoples in a Purposeful Way

As the practice of including land acknowledgements at events grows around the world, so do calls to tie that recognition to meaningful change.

BY Barbara Palmer November 11, 2021

Meetings and Your Brain: How Nature Gives Your Attention a Break

Many newly constructed and renovated convention centers and hotels leverage nature’s benefits, from boosting our mood to helping us think and collaborate better, and improving our focus and creativity.

BY Barbara Palmer November 4, 2021

Meg Strahle’s Journey to Creating Sustainable Event Experiences

As an assistant sustainability advisor for a London, U.K.–based events services firm focused on sustainable practices and innovation, Meg Strahle is combining her academic background in media, tourism, hospitality, and events, and research to make a difference.

BY Michelle Russell November 3, 2021

Being a ‘Part of the Solution’

Visit Baltimore President and CEO Al Hutchinson is grateful for the opportunities he has had in the travel and tourism business. At the same time, he’s seeking ways to make CVBs — and the communities they serve — more equitable, diverse, and inclusive.

BY Michelle Russell November 1, 2021

Events and Carbon Offsets: What You Need to Know

Purchasing carbon offsets to shrink the footprint of events is becoming a more common practice, but not all offset programs are created equal. Here’s what to look for.

BY David McMillin October 29, 2021

Scott Galloway to Event Planners: Get Ready to Be Bold

The New York Times bestselling author applies his insights on a post-COVID business world to events, and shares what attendees can expect to take away from his keynote session at Convening Leaders 2022.

BY Casey Gale October 26, 2021

Going Beyond a Green Event: How to Make Sustainability a Priority

Demonstrating sustainability at your events sends an important message to your stakeholders. But how can you have more of an impact on the industries and professions you serve?

BY Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes October 22, 2021

Dan Levy’s Serious Side

A peek at what the Convening Leaders 2022 audience has in store when the Emmy Award-winning writer, actor, director, and producer and LGBTQIA+ activist takes the stage in January.

BY Michelle Russell October 20, 2021

Convening Leaders 2022 Speaker Mateo Salvatto: ‘Imagine What Any of Us Can Do’

Meet the 22-year-old entrepreneur, author, and innovator whose free app Háblalo has started a global conversation about inclusion.

BY Barbara Palmer October 15, 2021

Leaving Your Event’s Host City Better Because You Were There

After living through a pandemic, conference participants will be more apt to lean towards conferences that align with their beliefs and passions through corporate social responsibility efforts.

BY Dave Lutz, CMP October 13, 2021

Getting Serious About Sustainable Event Design

Event and experience designers have the opportunity to create an environment that is not only physically and emotionally transformative for attendees, but also has an impact on sustainability. Here’s how to start.

BY Don Neal October 13, 2021

Honoring Indigenous Peoples in Seattle

Why Visit Seattle has become more vocal about honoring its Indigenous communities and heritage.

BY Barbara Palmer October 7, 2021