May 29, 2019
By Monica DozierReading Time: 3 minutes
On May 14-16, 2019 over 2,200 attendees filled the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas for the 4th Annual CLOC Institute. The hallways, exhibit hall and session rooms teamed with a mix of veterans and those new to the legal ops profession. Everyone was eager to make new acquaintances and connect with their peers and colleagues. Conversations revolved around the latest innovations in legal ops and legal tech and small impromptu meetings were set up throughout the conference to learn from one another.
During the event, the CLOC team fielded a lot of questions. Questions ran the gamut and some of them surprised us.
- How many people are in attendance? Over 2,200
- Where do they all come from?
- 25 countries (USA, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand account for 97% of attendees)
- 42 US states (California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts account for 51% of attendees)
- Why aren’t you using a plastic sleeve for the badge? What? You noticed?
It was amazing to us that so many people noticed the new badges! Bringing people from around the world for the Vegas Institute to one location is no small feat and as you can imagine, our 2.5-day event can take a toll on the environment. Between plastic use and paper trails, the negative impact of an event adds up quickly.
CLOC, recognizing that each of our Institutes creates a huge amount of waste, made a conscious decision to take a few small steps to reduce our carbon footprint in 2019. We had modest goals as we started this effort, and the badges were just one of the steps.
- Badges: In the past, we have used plastic sleeves to hold name badges. With over 50% of plastic produced being single use, this year we switched to an adhesive paper badge to eliminate that plastic. The badge was more convenient and saved quite a lot of plastic from hitting a landfill. And, people noticed!
- Bags: We spent a good deal of time researching a conference bag that was functional for the conference, but also could be used in the future. And, at the end of the conference, leftover bags were donated to a local charity.
- Online App: We minimized paper usage with our digital communications and with our event app. The CLOC event app was loaded with the agenda, presentations, handouts, and maps in order to save on paper. This not only had everything in one convenient place, but it also had the added benefit of reducing the number of total printouts needed for the event. In addition, the app was the most up-to-date source of information. No need to re-print the agenda if a session changed and use more paper, ink, and energy.
- We printed all copies locally, which not only reduced cost but also lessened the carbon emissions associated with shipping. Our goal is to go completely paperless soon. It’s a hard sell at times!
- We created large directional signs in the hallways to help attendees find session rooms. After the event, we donated all the single-sided foam core signage to an organization called “Teacher’s Exchange”. It’s a garage sale style opportunity for teachers in the Las Vegas area to come and get supplies for their classrooms that they might not be able to afford or obtain.
5. Scanners: QR codes on badges kept business cards to a minimum since contact information was available via a quick scan.
6. Reusable water bottles: An aluminum water bottle was given to each attendee at registration. This was another way to reduce the massive number of plastic water cups and single-serving bottles generated, then wasted, each day.
7. Recycling through Bellagio: All of our untouched food went to a local food bank in Las Vegas to feed those in need. Recyclable items such as plastic and glass from our event were brought to the local recycling center.
8. Pens: The CLOC branded pens, that were used all over the institute, were 100% recyclable, made almost entirely of paper and recyclable plastic pieces.
Creating a more eco-conscious conference can be intimidating, which is why we started with a few small manageable changes. These small steps are just a start in our efforts to create a more environmentally friendly event. We have even more plans for 2020!
CLOC – Going Green and Giving Back to the Community