3 Ways to GREEN Your Session Handouts at MPI

Topics: Conferences

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We helped MPI go green with the Inspiration Journal and we find many other associations and events feeling the pressure to go green. Although there are many different ways to green your meeting, I’ll focus on a topic we are close to… printed session handouts.

Here are three ways you can green your session handouts:

1. Hybrid Your Handouts

conflearnjournal_smInstead of providing printed handouts (bound or corner stapled), place your handouts on a CD or online. You’ll want to make sure your digital handouts are organized (by topic, by speaker and in program order) and can be accessed through a professionally designed interface. Search capabilities are imporant as well if you have a fair amount of content. The  move away from paper may irritate some attendees so you’ll want the digital version to “Wow” them. Allowing registered attendees to download handouts in advance is also a growing trend.

Then provide a Conference Learning Journal which includes the agenda of sessions, conference maps, speaker index/biographies. You may also want to include a short abstract or summary of the session to help attendees plan which sessions to attend. To round out the Journal, add about 30 to 40 blank pages for note taking. this is a great on site tool and attendees love them. Sponsors like them to so why not have them pay for it! The MPI Inspiration Journal (if you went to Vegas you received one of these!) is another great example of how we helped MPI go green.

2. Be Paper Smart

You don’t have to stop printing to go green! You can still provide on-site handouts, but do so in a green manner.

  • Limit speakers to a pre-defined page count and 3-up slides versus unlimited pages
  • Have speakers provide learning objectives, a session outline, a synopsis of their talk… something meaningful other than slides with bullet points
  • If you choose an online presence for you content post supporting materials (articles, worksheets, forms, etc) online. This keeps people engaged with your organization after the event as well.

These are great ways to cut down on the paper (lower cost, green) and still make for a positive learning experience (happy attendees).

Our “Tips for Better Session Handouts” might be a good place to start.

3. Take a Minimalist Approach!

First, think about layout and amount of content. Never print slides less than 3-up per page and always print two-sided.

recycleleafLook at the materials:

  • Paper – Move from 100% virgin paper to recycled paper that contain 30% PCW. You’ll be surprised by how inexpensive recycled paper really is these days.
  • Binding – If you use a coil binding, make sure your plastic contains recycled materials. Avoid 3-ring binders: as they contain hard to recycle materials such as the metal rings and plastic binder covers. Because of this, these binders usually end up in landfills.
  • Inks – Soy-based inks and toner from digital printing equipment contain low VOCs which is better for the environment than standard inks.

Download our 15 Green Printing Tips for more ideas or give us a call. The bottom line is DO NOT PANIC! Going green can be easy and rewarding.



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