Action Plan to Guide Sustainable Business Events

FRANKFURT – The Strategic Alliance of the National Convention Bureaux of Europe (SANCBE) presents a new whitepaper titled “How can National Convention Bureaux Leverage Their Influence for Sustainability?”. In alignment with the frameworks provided by the European Green Deal and the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative, it showcases a collaborative action plan towards a shift to sustainable business events and the overall transition for sustainability. The paper was launched on May 22 in Frankfurt/Germany at the brand-new Global Forum for National Convention Bureaux, initiated by SANCBE and supported by ICCA and the IMEX Group.

The climate crisis is the most urgent challenge of our time. Business events can play a major role in the transformative change that is needed. From scientific conferences to political summits and trade fairs – meetings and gatherings of all types are essential tools for human collaboration and communication. The business events industry therefore has a unique opportunity and responsibility to contribute to the global efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Matthias Schultze, Managing Director at the GCB German Convention Bureau and Co-Chair of SANCBE: “Business events have been focusing on ecological sustainability for many years, but from now on we need to expand our understanding of sustainability, intensify our efforts, and align them with the best available science, existing international goals and frameworks as well as leading industry movements such as the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative.”

Eric Bakermans, Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions and Co-Chair of SANCBE: “Our new whitepaper is built on many hours of insightful conversations, and it reflects the new roles and purposes we have jointly defined for ourselves as a European alliance. It is a result of our continued, trust-based collaboration, motivated by our shared vision for a sustainable future.”

Areas of Action and Concrete Approaches
Based on the future role and purposes of national convention bureaux as defined in a previous whitepaper by SANCBE (2021), the latest publication addresses four pillars and related areas of action: expertise & resources, advocacy & communication, strategy & standards, facilitation & innovation. These pillars show a number of concrete directions and approaches for national convention bureaux to leverage their role and influence in accelerating the sustainable transition. In terms of global cooperation, the whitepaper does not only provide a framework and inspiration for future strategic initiatives by the European member organisations, but for other, non-European national convention bureaux as well. 

Global Forum for National Convention Bureaux
The whitepaper was officially launched on Monday, May 22, 2023, in Frankfurt/Germany during a brand-new and exclusive Global Forum for National Convention Bureaux, initiated by SANCBE and supported by ICCA and the IMEX Group. The forum aims at providing a collaborative industry platform serving to exchange experiences and knowledge transfer between the National Convention Bureaux with the mission to advance the sustainable transformation of business events and create long-lasting impacts in destinations. 

“How can National Convention Bureaux Leverage Their Influence for Sustainability?” is available for download free of charge through this link.