Hybrid Events: Taking Sustainable Steps Forward

With COP27 on the horizon, Mike Fletcher looks at the launch of Glisser’s Event Carbon Calculator plus a recent webinar to discuss hybrid’s role in a more sustainable future for the meetings industry.

Mike Fletcher, October 25, 2022

Around 270 event industry operators have now signed the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge, committing to publish before the end of 2023 their company’s pathway to achieve net zero by 2050, with an interim target to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 50% before 2030.

That’s according to James Rees, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC), which is co-ordinating and hosting the Net Zero Carbon Events campaign for the industry worldwide.

During COP27, which takes place in Sharm El- Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November, the JMIC will launch its phase two Roadmap, produced following a survey and two rounds of industry consultation.

This next stage of the industry initiative to address climate change, which began at COP26 in Glasgow last year, features a detailed document on how to implement action to achieve net zero and a 20-page executive summary.

For phase three of the campaign, helping to deliver the Roadmap, eight work-streams have been identified and 42 representatives from 32 organisations have already registered to participate.

Speaking during IMEX America in Las Vegas recently, Rees said: “Globally, there is an urgent need to accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions. The events industry can and should play its part in helping to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement. That’s why the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative was set up.

“The initiative has made a strong start and we are building momentum. We’d welcome everyone not only to follow us on social media and to take part in the meeting on 11 November but also to sign the pledge and join us.”

As the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, COP27 approaches, sustainability and the industry’s ambitions to tackle carbon emissions continues to be a key discussion point.

LinkedIn Banners 2022 (1200 × 627px) (11)-1This calculator estimates the quantity of carbon created from your next in-person event. Plus, you will also see how that would reduce if you were to move 25% of your attendees to be online attendees instead of in-person.


Here at Glisser, we recently launched an Event Carbon Calculator and invited a panel of industry experts to participate in a webinar, discussing the challenges around creating climate conscious events.

Our calculator, created in conjunction with Critical Future, is a highly accurate way of measuring multiple CO2 savings so that planners can quantify the positive environmental impacts of moving to a virtual or hybrid model.

So how does it work?

Using accurate, available information and applying statistics from attendee surveys and site-specific energy consumption data, the calculator has been designed to measure reductions in CO2, achieved by moving certain event elements online.

Planners can use these carbon reduction metrics in reporting documents, while also being able to calculate the associated cost savings from reducing air travel, food and beverage waste, venue heating and cooling, along with other factors.

By providing both an economic and climate value to the calculations, planners can use the information as part of their Return on Investment (ROI) analysis.

When assessed alongside other platform data such as attendee profiles, engagement scores, content reach and sponsor value, planners can build a clearer picture of both sustained improvements to environmental practices and the effectiveness of those actions on event KPIs.

2022 Webinars - Sustainability


The webinar, entitled: Hybrid Events: The Climate-conscious Solution? featured Duncan Reid, Co-founder of Reset Connect, Lauren Hudson, Sustainability and Safety Advisor at Manchester Central, and Jake Bolton, Operations Manager for Hire Space

The panelists discussed how transitioning just 25% of your audience to virtual can reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%.

Reid reminded viewers that adding more sustainable hybrid elements to an in-person content programme will help to attract a wider audience online, reduce long-haul delegate travel, and open-up the stage to a broader range of speakers. 

He said: “We were able to attract some really high-profile speakers to present and sit on panels remotely, which was a game-changer for the success of our first event. My advice is to invest in a technical production team that really understands how to dial-in speakers across multiple stages, allowing everyone to see and hear each other for the most impactful experience.”

Manchester Central’s Hudson agreed: “Once you have the technical infrastructure in-place and a knowledgeable production team running your event, setting up a hybrid option is the best available option for meeting sustainable targets associated with face-to-face activity.”

Bolton’s advice to webinar viewers was to thoroughly research technology platforms first to choose the right partner for you and your goals. He said: “If you already have a platform in place, make sure to tailor your events programme around the technology available.”



'Hybrid Events: The Climate-conscious Solution?’ is available to view on-demand. Our resources section is also where you’ll find our Event Carbon Calculator and an associated e-book on Positive Planetary Action for Event Planners.

Book a Glisser platform demo at www.glisser.com/discover. 

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