In New White Paper, Meeting Strategies Worldwide Explores Economic, Environmental Challenges

Meeting Strategies Worldwide, a Portland, Ore.-based environmental consulting firm, has released a new white paper in which it discusses the impact of the economy and the environment on the global meetings industry. Titled "The Economy and the Environment: One Solution for Two Meeting and Event Industry Issues," the white paper outlines critical financial and environmental concerns, as well as sustainable solutions with which to address them both.

"In today's tougher economy there is no better time to look for ways to improve efficiencies, maximize investment, reduce cost and innovate," Meeting Strategies Worldwide spokesperson Nancy J. Wilson, CMP, said in a statement. "The solution to overcoming economic challenges can be found in the environmental and social opportunities that are calling on meeting professionals to create the most sustainable and value-added approach to their activities."

Indeed, green initiatives are good not only for the environment, according to Meeting Strategies Worldwide, but also for the bottom lines. In its white paper, the company lays out the following five reasons why:

1. They offer cost savings. Meeting planning strategies such as reducing handouts, reusing banners and avoiding individual water bottles help planners reduce costs while also being green.

2. They offer a competitive advantage and promotional benefits. Because more and more consumers are going green, they're increasingly looking to do business with green companies. By embracing sustainable business practices, companies can therefore capture that market, including the media attention that it's attracting.

3. They increase delegate satisfaction. Because many companies have cut their travel and conference budgets, competition for attendees—who will likely attend fewer conferences this year—is increasing. Being green will add value to your conference and give attendees one more reason to choose your conference over another one.

4. They boost employee retention. Consumers and attendees value green businesses, and so do employees, who are looking increasingly to work for jobs they enjoy at companies that they believe in.

5. They mitigate risks. In uncertain economic times, green business practices can help companies reduce risks related to employee health, supplier stability, regulation and public image.

Reads the Meeting Strategies Worldwide white paper, "In today's economic climate there is just one principle to live by, 'If it makes good business sense, do it!' If not, don't. The good news is that what makes the best financial sense is many times the environmental choice as well."

Meeting planners may download "The Economy and the Environment: One Solution for Two Meeting and Event Industry Issues" for free at