Published On: September 28, 2020Categories: Dear Event Planner Series

Dear Bewildered Festival Planner,

Who – despite successfully converting all your events into virtual ones, with mug after mug of coffee at your home office  – is still feeling lost and on the brink of giving up when it comes to planning food, drink or music festivals for 2021, let alone environmentally conscious ones.

I know you’re trying to feel optimistic about large-scale events returning in 2021, but you’re on an emotional roller coaster that doesn’t seem to end. At first it seemed like the world would remain isolated forever. Then we slowly started moving from phase to phase – up to 50 people were allowed indoors and 100 people for outdoor events for Ontario. Despite the lifted restrictions, there’s still too much uncertainty and the number of confirmed cases continue to rise and fall like the ebbs and flows of the ocean. How can you possibly solidify any permits or sign vendor contracts for 2021?! 

It’s Hopeless

And, right now, you’re feeling like it’s absolutely hopeless. You’re questioning your capabilities as a seasoned festival planner because this year all the plans have fallen between the cracks. Each time you find a solution, the re-opening dates and rules change. You’re constantly having to readjust your master plans, and by the time you’re almost done solidifying them, the new guidelines get rolled out (*Pulls hair out*). Now you’re back in the cycle of calling your contact at the City for permit updates and Googling, “How to pivot my event production business.” By the time you’re ready to start researching eco-friendly options, your motivation has vanished and your overwhelm has peaked. Starting to think about implementing event sustainability while simultaneously respecting health and safety concerns is like trying to merge on the highway without any mirrors.

You’re Not Alone

You’re not the only one, my friend. If and when you find the time to search for eco-conscious options, there’s just a ton of conflicting information online. I too have seen that some media outlets claim that reusables are safe while other experts recommend only single-use items should be used. I’ve seen it everywhere from caterers for Micro-Weddings to cafes and restaurants. At my last job as a venue manager, it was a constant debate our team had with our preferred caterers. Which ones were safer? Which ones were clients more comfortable with? Ultimately, disposables were promoted to clients despite reusables being an option as well. What I’ve noticed through and through, is that disposables are chosen over reusables because it’s the “convenient” option and the perceived notion that they are “cleaner.” But it’s actually easier to to monitor and control the cleaning and sanitizing of reusables rather than disposables wrapped in plastic (I mean c’mon, do you now how many people touched and came into contact with the disposables before being packaged and shipped?! — GROSS).  

Share Your Problems

So what do you say? Would you be willing to tell me all of your problems for 30 minutes on a Clarity Call, to get 3 ways you can instantly safely implement eco-friendly options? If that’s a yes, then let me tell you what’s on the other side! You will be far less overwhelmed and you will be able to focus on all the aspects of festival planning that you actually enjoy! 

Asking for Help is ALWAYS difficult

Taking the first step is always the hardest, but it doesn’t have to be. I understand because to have made it so far in the events industry and having to appear so knowledgeable with all the permits and restrictions, asking for help feels like something that will make you lose authority. It can be scary to ask a question when you think that the answer might be simple but you just don’t know it yet. But not knowing the answer is okay. That being said, if you do want to build this area of expertise – and start positioning yourself to set yourself apart from other festival planners in the future, now is the time. It might not seem like the biggest challenge at the moment, but when you’re continuing to plan festivals for 2021 and 2022, both clients and attendees are much more conscious of their environment and the world around than they have been their entire lives! This is what sanitizing your hands and staying socially distant every day for 6 months will do to you – it makes you pretty aware of what’s going on in the world! We’ve all seen the accumulation of plastic masks in the ocean – they’re the new plastic straws.

Let’s Chat About your Actionable Next Steps

Now it won’t be long until you’re planning that annual festival for 2021 or 2022 and realize you need guidance and expertise. But honestly, there’s only one thing you have to do right now. When you’re ready to take the first step, know that all you have to do is book a 30 minute Clarity Call with me and we can go through all of your pain points of creating and implementing an event sustainability plan that meets the healthy and safety guidelines of COVID-19. Whether or not we work together, after our call you will walk away with some actionable next steps when planning for your summer festival! 

Yours Truly,

Romina Kwong
Event Sustainability Consultant

One Comment

  1. Elmira Rensch July 2, 2023 at 00:17 - Reply

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