IBM Thinks Sustainably

A Look at Greener Conference Practices

In 2023, the importance of sustainability cannot be overstated. Companies across industries are embracing eco-friendly practices to minimize carbon footprints and contribute to a greener future. IBM, a global technology leader, continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability through its initiatives, including its flagship summit, Think.  

As IBM demonstrated at Think 2023, when a brand experience is designed with strategy and purpose, it can promote business and ESG objectives equally, for the benefit of all.

If you’re looking to reduce your event’s carbon footprint, here are some ideas to consider: 

Skip the Swag 

Swag and giftbags are a conference staple. But given how many of those hats, t-shirts and other branded items end up in a trash or the back of a closet, are they really serving their purpose? Instead of swag-bags, lots of event hosts (like IBM) are connecting attendees with local nonprofits, donating an amount in their honor. Less things produced, less things ultimately discarded, all while connecting attendees with meaningful causes, fostering a sense of purpose and community engagement among them.

Monitor displays notes about sustainability and reducing waste at IBM Think


Recyclable Branding 

When event assets do need to be created—and they will be—you may want to spend some extra time planning and designing them. Ask questions early about the value of a sign or branding opportunity to make sure everything created has a real purpose. If a sign or scenic element is used to convey essential information that will be needed year after year, consider neutral branding that will give them a shelf longer shelf-life than one year. It helps the planet and reduces next year’s budget.

Think 2023 was strikingly branded and full of imagery and assets that could be applied no matter the year or location of the event (which should be particularly helpful as they gear up for Think on Tour!).

There is also the option of signage made from recyclable materials. There are several vendors that work specifically with these materials and specialize in eco-friendly signage. 

Extending Sustainability Beyond the Conference 

IBM took sustainability a step further at Think 2023 by encouraging attendees to embrace greener practices beyond the conference venue. Simple yet impactful suggestions were provided to help attendees save energy during their stay in Orlando’s hotels. Tips such as reusing towels and turning off lights, televisions, and air conditioners when not in use helped promote resource conservation. By instilling sustainable habits in conference attendees, IBM created a ripple effect that extended beyond the event itself, fostering a culture of responsible consumption and environmental consciousness. 

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