The Green Meetings Industry Council’s (GMIC) Annual Conference was held in Montreal, Canada, and everywhere I turned over the last five days I saw, read and witnessed sustainable activities.

The highlights for me were continued education, networking and meeting with 300 like-minded people who share the same passion for environmental responsibility! New for this year’s meeting was a live stream to Amsterdam providing interaction with our worldwide partners.

The conference was filled with great case studies, new ideas, interesting organically-grown meals and even a fun mobile show app. My highlights and key takeaways include:

  • John Picard: The owner of John Picard & Associates, founded the principles of bringing a natural system approach to traditional business issues. He shared his experiences on the following projects:
    • Helping the White House go green.
    • Creating Hanger 25 (the world’s first solar powered airplane hangar).
    • Delivering a sustainable building approach for MGM Resorts International’s City Center

  • “Are you all in?” This was the key message of the meeting and it included three encompassing  goals:
    • Gain insight.
    • Build networks.
    • Develop solutions.

My favorite feature of this year’s meeting was GAME ON, A mobile show app that allowed attendees to challenge each other on sustainable acts and activities. For example, attending morning Zumba classes, going to breakout sessions, tweeting about conference topics and answering questions on environmental issues were each worth a point. The best part is it doesn’t end when the meeting ends; you can keep playing to receive points and more advice!

I left the GMIC conference with seven pages of notes, a stack of business cards, newly found partners, fresh ideas on ways to continue to grow our sustainability efforts, and something very cool to share with our customers and facility partners. GMIC has created a measurement tool. You can't challenge what you don't measure and the sheer thought and method of measurement varies all over the board. Have you ever tried to find a consistent way to measure your waste reduction, your carbon footprint, and your overall environment impact? Well now you can as it goes live in the middle of May. Stay tuned for the next blog where I share my results and let you know how you can get involved!

As I boarded the final leg of my flight back home, I glanced out the window and read a billboard that said the world could power itself with just 20% of its own wind power. Green education never ends, and I encourage you to keep learning and moving forward with your green goals.

What’s the most important goal you have for yourself or company to go green? Share them with our fans on Facebook!