The 24th Event Klub was held at the Academia hotel in Zagreb on 14 November 2019 on the topic of green events. The conference was the result of collaboration between the Austrian Foreign Trade Office and Event Klub.
The opening speech was given by Zlatan Muftić from the Convention Bureau of the Zagreb Tourist Board and revealed that Zagreb is taking an eco-conscious approach to its Advent celebrations. This provided us with an introduction to the topic of green events, along with the fact that the half a million cups being used to serve beverages during Advent will be made from completely biodegradable material.
The packed audience got the chance to hear Austrian experiences in this field from Renate Androsch-Holzer, an Austrian Convention Bureau board member and CEO of RAM Congress+Event, who also organises green events. The attendees learned about the mandatory and optional requirements that an event must meet in the eight categories of mobility, hospitality, accommodation, convention centre, supply and waste management, communication, social aspects and technical equipment. You have to score at least 42 out of 120 possible points, which may sound easy enough, but you can easily encounter various difficulties. For instance, the location, i.e. the convention centre, could fail to meet the high standards established by the criteria for green events. This is also the category in which the most points can be scored.
After learning about the Austrian experiences, the attendees had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the Croatian “green steps” based on the example of the Terme Sveti Martin resort. This will soon become Croatia’s first recipient of the Ecolabel certification due to its numerous green activities. Next up was an example of the recycling activities carried out by the Forum Zagreb Congress Centre. Jasmina Bilać of the PCO agency Proconventa then presented web-based applications as the basis for paperless conventions and Vedrana Hercigonja Majetić from Catering Team Majetić told us how they have been receiving more and more requests from organisers to reduce the use of plastic dishes and that there has generally been a growing awareness of environmental protection in this area of the event industry.
After the presentations, there was a brief overview of the Austrian and Croatian exhibitors that offer MICE services, followed by numerous B2B meetings between Austrian and Croatian MICE service providers and the Croatian organisers and companies, as well as PCO and event agencies.