Prevue asked Amy Allen, Director of Sales & Marketing for Caesars Entertainment, for her thoughts on Green Meetings trends.
Q: Is there a growing demand for more green meetings?
A: We’ve definitely seen an increase over the last several years in planners interested in our sustainability activities and initiatives. They want to know that the venues they choose have sustainability practices in place and they want to be able to communicate that to their attendees. They ask about our certifications and awards, and want to understand our practices relative to conservation. Additionally, they seek our guidance in greening their meetings and events, and our team members are Green Meetings Certified by an independent third party, so they are trained in helping our customers make their meeting programs with us more sustainable.
Q: How can planners make the concept of sustainability more exciting for groups?
A: It’s important attendees feel that sustainability-related efforts are program-enhancing, and not that something is being taken away from them or that the value they get from the experience is lessened. For example, if attendees are used to receiving in-room gifts each night, suddenly taking those away in the name of conservation might not go over so well. Instead look for ways to be more eco-conscious within the context of your existing structure, and make sure the steps you take support your key objectives.We host an annual educational conference for meeting planners in Las Vegas, and we’ll be expanding it to our Atlantic City, Tunica and Lake Tahoe markets starting next year. For many years, the program included a day of over-the-top offsite activities like helicopter rides, race car driving and river rafting. When we decided we wanted to incorporate community service into the program, we determined it would take the place of the excursions. But it was critical that it align with our objectives, which included providing an opportunity for our salespeople and customers to interact and foster strong relationships in a fun environment, while communicating something meaningful about who we are as a company. We’ve now done several different service projects, and of all the incredible things attendees experience while they’re here, they literally rave about the community service! They know they’ve done something worthwhile and they’ve done it in partnership with us. So, it’s the right thing to do for our community but it also enhances our event and the attendee experience and, as a result, our business success.
Q: How is your vision evolving in step with the sustainability megatrend?
A: Our vision has evolved to take a broader approach toward corporate social responsibility, with environmental sustainability being one of several elements. This allows us to look at our initiatives more holistically and drive resources to areas where we believe we can have the greatest impact and that will most benefit the communities in which we operate. Beneficiaries of these efforts have included Clean the World, Meals on Wheels, the National Park Trust, American Cancer Society, Teacher EXCHANGE, Second Wind Dreams and more. This is in addition to extensive on-property efforts, many of which are driven by our employees at the grassroots level.