Sustainable events conference with over 200 attendees discussing solutions for the event industry.
With more than 200 attendees, the Sustainable Events Conference – Shaping the Future (SECON) sent a strong signal for a sustainable future. The event, initiated by the GCB German Convention Bureau and the EVVC European Association of Event Centres, took place in Osnabrück in Germany on 14 and 15 February. In addition to the more than 200 guests on site at OsnabrückHalle event centre, another 30 took part digitally via livestream. Key content and discussion results of the SECON will be published in a report shortly.
SECON 2023 was very much guided by the idea of joint action and collaboration. The conference kicked off with a science slam by Dr. Maria-Elena Vorrath, which set the tone right from the start: The organisers GCB and EVVC had created an agenda which allowed all event industry stakeholders to jointly develop concepts and solutions to counter the effects of climate change as a way of achieving real progress towards net-zero emissions and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Every item on the agenda of the two-day conference contributed a valuable piece to the overall SECON event. This included workshops on sustainability strategies, communication and education, best practices from the event industry or a panel on “Net Zero Carbon Events.”
“Sustainability is a key aspect in event organisers’ decision-making,” says Matthias Schultze, GCB Managing Director, with reference to the results of the most recent 2022 Meeting & EventBarometer survey. “With SECON, we therefore wanted to bring together service providers along the entire supply chain of business events to jointly develop sustainable solutions for Germany as a meeting destination.” Key findings from all SECON sessions will be published in a report within short.
Attendees explore local surroundings
The belief that significant steps on the path to a sustainable future can only be taken together also implies looking beyond and finding inspiration outside the industry. SECON 2023 attendees could therefore choose from one of five off-site activities, which included visiting local e-mobility or B Corp companies, the German Federal Environmental Foundation and an innovation centre on the site of a former freight depot or a guided city tour to explore the historic city of Osnabrück.
“Event venues and their surroundings represent the entire diversity of business event destinations,” says Ilona Jarabek, President of the EVVC. “The example of Osnabrück shows how conference attendees can benefit from exploring the local environment and be inspired by it. Our joint task is now to implement the impetus we have gained at SECON in our day-to-day work.”
Outlook: SECON 2025
GCB and EVVC have jointly been organising a sustainability conference for more than ten years, showing their commitment to a sustainable events industry. In 2023, this former “green meetings and events conference” was relaunched as the new Sustainable Events Conference – Shaping the Future, based on a 360-degree understanding of sustainability. The next SECON is scheduled to take place in 2025 and the organisers will announce details of the call for entries shortly.