Travel & Transport

Audience Travel

For most events, attendee travel lies mostly out of an organisers control. We can’t make someone get on a train or walk, and in the instances of international events flying is often the quickest and cheapest option. 

According to S&P Global, the impact of Covid-19 on air traffic is likely to last until 2024, with 2021 seeing a decline in air traffic from pre-pandemic levels of 60 – 70%.  For the climate, this is good news.

Aviation accounts for around 2.5% of global carbon emissions. While this seems like a relatively small amount, the height at which emissions are released, coupled with release of water vapour creates a longer-term lock-in effect, which has potent impacts on warming.

On the ground, 10% of global carbon emissions are associated with road transport, which is a significantly higher percentage. However this is attributable to around 1.5 billion road vehicles compared to 25,000 commercial planes.

Of all the things we humans do, flying is the most carbon intense activity per minute.

The de-carbonisation of our transport and travel routes plays a huge role in limiting warming to 1.5°C. The digital revolution over the last 16 months is the biggest opportunity we’ve ever been given to transition our events and make slow-travel normal.

Get ideas for taking action below or benchmark your progress.

What we can do...

1. Challenge the brief  

Not everyone wants an in person experience and not everyone wants to take part from behind a screen.

Poll your audience and review past data. Understand what your audience wants and design your event accordingly to create integrated events that talk to all of your audience.

2. Embrace the future

Covid-19 has demonstrated the power of virtual solutions and integrated events are here to stay.

Whether an event can be fully virtual should be based on the audience, but looking at how we can create integrated events – campaigns for all types of audiences not only means we can reduce the number of people travelling, but we can also reach a wider and more diverse audience.

3. Well connected locations

Opt for locations with good transport hubs.

Place preference for locations on the ability to cycle or walk to a venue from hotels or public transport. Where aviation is unavoidable, opt for venues close to airports.

Include travel method and distance as criteria in your location search.

4. Promote public transport

Public transport is often quicker than travelling by car. The average speed for a vehicle in London is 4mph – that’s the same speed as walking!

Communicate public transport options to your attendees to encourage use and help promote positive behavioural change.

Include suggested travel routes in pre-event digital guides to promote public transport options. Whilst accessibility is key, demote car parking and taxi services to the bottom of the list.

5. The golden age of rail.

Give your guests the gift of time.

Promote the romance of train travel and create excitement about the journey with suggested overnight stays or destination-towns on route. Europe is incredibly well connected by rail with many major destinations accessible within 24 hours.

We’ve all enjoyed slowing down. Organisers promoting slow travel options will help audiences maintain well-being and reduce carbon emissions.

Using your event as a backdrop to some time-out will also help solidify the event experience in people’s mind.

6. A connected network

Live events are all about connection. Connect attendees in advance and encourage those coming from the same area to travel together.

This will help to reduce travel emissions and will help to build relationships between attendees, further amplifying the event legacy and improving the audience network.

7. Carbon balancing

If flying is an attendee’s only option, propose environmental ‘balancing’ solutions to help them balance their travel. We recommend ecolibirum as your carbon balancing partner.

Consider also carbon balancing on behalf of your attendees.

Twice the offsets, twice the impact.

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