The greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of people travelling to and from the event are likely to tally to a considerable figure. Transport of audience will usually be the largest single producer of CO2 emissions.
Planning is key to managing transport impacts and influencing travel options by event attendees.
Consider the travel impacts of event participants when choosing a destination for an event. If possible reduce air or extensive ground travel by considering a destination that does not require the bulk of attendees to travel extensive distances. This will not be possible for tourism-based events trying to attract visitors.
Location of venue
The venue should be accessible via public transport, be near transport hubs, or shuttle links put on by the event to link up public transport with the event location.
Increase uptake of public transport
Event planning should be such that public transport options are the most preferable way to get to the event.
- Free shuttle bus services to link public transport hubs to the event site are provided.
- Public transport schedules and routes are actively communicated and uptake encouraged by event attendees through various communications channels.
- Public transport is incentivized to increase uptake (direct access/drop off, cheaper tickets, rewards, discounts, entertainment, special access).
Encourage walking and cycling
If the event is located in an area with safe bike routes, and if bike riding is popular, cycling should be strongly promoted.
- Offer secure and convenient bike parking.
- Invite cycling organisations to be part of the event as a transport partner.
- Set up sponsorship with a bike shop or bike brand.
- Set up a bike-surgery onsite so people can get their bikes repaired and serviced.
- Organise a ‘bike bus’ with support vehicle for gear.
- If camping is at your event, offer premium camping to those that cycle or walk.
- Offer incentives or rewards for those that cycle or walk.
- Put together a special walk or cycle campaign to promote this to your audience.
- Release free bikes across your event to get people around.
- For multi-venue events, have a bike library so people can loan a bike during the event, discouraging taxis use.
Increase Car Occupancy
- Offer incentives to those that arrive with full cars such as premium parking, first exit, rewards/gifts/vouchers.
- Promote liftshare and carpooling.
- Co-ordinating delegate ground transport – share transfers.
Dampen enthusiasm for driving through;
- Charge for car parking
- Less direct access to gates
- Charge a green tax to all cars to those that arrive less than full.
Promote the benefits of sustainable travel
- Skip traffic jams and congestion at car park entrances.
- Delivered right to the event doors rather than to outer car parks.
- Environmentally friendly.
- Can be cheaper than driving alone.
Coach & Train Travel
Coach travel has the lowest CO2 impact per person, followed by rail and then car (depending on how full the car is). You should promote coach and train travel to your audience as enjoyable and convenient, as well as appealing to their inner green-ness by promoting its positive environmental aspects.
- Charter coaches from handy geographical centre and if tickets are sold, bundle coach travel with event tickets.
- Schedule a special train to your event and align a sponsor and include on-board brand activation.
- Make sure you have shuttle buses to connect transport hubs with your event if normal transport networks are used.
- Promote public transport access before tickets go on sale and ensure all options to get to the event are available on your website so people can plan before they purchase.
- If you have group registration, work with group organisers to ensure coach travel is also arranged.
- Bundle tickets with rail or coach travel
Air Travel Offsetting
If air travel is required by attendees, a carbon offsetting option is available upon purchasing of event ticket, event registration, or through general event promotion.
Many more techniques can be applied to your event based on your unique set of circumstances.
Understanding the practical reasons why people prefer to take their car must be understood if you are to come up with strategies to influence them otherwise.
Think about access, timing, availability of convenient routes, logistics of meeting up with friends etc, so that you know what the barriers to taking sustainable transport options may be.
Then promote the benefits of low impact travel.