On 26 September, the Elisabeth Centre in Antwerp threw open its doors for the fourth edition of OMconference, an annual high mass where marketing decision-makers are immersed in a bath full of inspiring speakers. This year, sustainable marketing was the hot topic. And OMconference walks the talk. Under the guidance of Utopia Events from Ghent, the marketing event is the first in Belgium to achieve the CO2 neutral label.
Who is OMconference?
OMconference is an initiative of digital marketing agency OMcollective from Sint-Niklaas and 15 other partners. Together they join forces to create the event of the year for the marketing decision-maker. Without partners, no OMconference. One of the newcomers was Utopia Events. They are a full-service event agency and expert in the total organisation of sustainable events that go bang. The ideal match and of indispensable added value for the ‘Sustainable Marketing’ edition of 2022.
Practice what you preach: Sustopia Label for OMconference
OMconference wanted to incorporate the sustainable story not just in the programme, but ‘walks the talk’. Guided by ‘The carbon-neutral event agency Utopia’, OMconference aimed both in the creation, the run-up to and during the event day, to avoid or reduce CO2 emissions and where possible to be as climate-neutral as possible in order to become the first carbon-neutral marketing event in Belgium. The emissions that cannot be avoided will be offset in a certified climate project in cooperation with co2logic.
A number of concrete actions were taken during OMconference:
The choice of venue was crucial; the Royal Society of Zoology of Antwerp (KMDA) is a ‘Green key’ venue. A Green key label is an international seal of approval for ecological tourism businesses.
The event venue of KMDA, is 100m from Antwerp Central Station, making the train the perfect means of transport. Moreover, Traject worked out a tailor-made mobility plan for the visitors.
The catering offer during the event was 100% vegetarian and 90% vegan.
Launch of an app to set up a paperless event. No programme booklets were printed; a limited stock of ballpoint pens and notepads was recycled from previous editions.
Stands were built with a modular system and the walls were reused or recycled.
A comprehensive overview of the actions taken: https://www.omconference.be/nieuws/omconference-co2-neutraal-marketingevent/
How does this translate into figures?
Approximately 42 tonnes of CO2 were emitted during OMconference 2021. With the sustainable initiatives taken in the run-up to 26 September 2022 and during the event, 12 tonnes of CO2 were eventually reduced. The effective emission of 30 tonnes of CO2 will be offset together with co2logic in the Kenya Agroforestery project.
Michel De Baer, CEO of OMcollective: “Holy shit! The fact that we still
still emitted 30 tonnes of CO2 with all the initiatives taken, means there is still a lot of work to do. The 2022 edition is just the beginning. For the next edition, together with Utopia Events, we will once again go all out to avoid even more emissions.”
More info on the event: www.omconference.be