Why Virtual Events are a Sustainable Alternative to In-Person Event

By Emily KringsApr 19, 2023

The rise of virtual events has proven very valuable for many facets of business. One of the most significant benefits of virtual events is that they allow companies to host wide-scale gatherings in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way than in-person events.

In this article, we will discuss how virtual events provide a sustainable alternative to in-person events. We’ll also discuss some ways to make your virtual events even more sustainable.

3 Ways Virtual Events Are More SustainableSun Chemical Receives 2023 FTA Sustainability Excellence Award | Ink World

Virtual events are more sustainable because they reduce the need for travel, single-use waste, and energy consumption. Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.

1. Reduces the Need to Travel

In-person events require many people to travel. For locals, this might be a quick drive from home, but for out-of-town participants, it could require flying across the country or across the world.

When you host virtual events, participants can attend from the comfort of their homes. Traveling to the event is unnecessary if it can be accessed online. This conserves a ton of energy, especially the non-renewable energy that powers most forms of transportation.

Not only is this more sustainable, but it makes your events more accessible to people around the world. Empowering and educating people who may not otherwise have access to your event is beneficial for many more reasons.

2. Less Single-Use Waste

In-person events come with so much single-use waste. There are banners, flyers, merch, name tags, lanyards, and dozens of other little things that truly add up. These details are usually very cool touches that create nice brand experiences, but many of these items are thrown away when the event comes to an end.

If food is served at an event, this creates even more single-use waste. From plastic cutlery to latex serving gloves, so much waste is created by serving snacks or meals to a large group of people.

When you host a virtual event, the little waste-creating details are less significant. Physical pamphlets, signage, and name tags have become obsolete. Plus, cutting out snacks and meals reduces a ton of waste.

Even if you want to include some of these details in your virtual event, you can offer them as part of a paid VIP package. When you’re only offering a small number of items, you can invest more in ensuring that they are sustainably sourced. Plus, since people are paying for them, they are more likely to want to keep them rather than ditch them at the event.

3. Reduced Energy Consumption

Powering a convention center or stadium for a virtual event requires a lot of energy. From lights to air conditioning, so much energy is used. Although some venues use renewable energy, this is not usually the case.

However, if people attend a virtual event from home, they simply use the energy that would already be used to power their homes. 

This may sound counterintuitive since all of the participants’ homes require energy to be powered, but most people don’t “power down” their homes when they aren’t there. Plus, other members of the home may be there, so the home would be “on” and consuming electricity anyway.

Tips for Hosting Greener Virtual Events\

WEEK IN REVIEW: Think building back better over sustainability - Just Style

Even though virtual events are inherently more sustainable than in-person events, there are ways you can make your virtual events even greener. Here are a few tips for doing just that!

Host Off-Screen Breaks

Just like in-person events, many virtual events take breaks between speakers. When you host virtual events, urge participants to take off-screen breaks. This will help them conserve energy on the devices they’re using to access the event.

Let them know exactly how long the break will be so they know when to turn their screens back on. If you’re taking a longer break, consider sending a text notification to let them know that it’s time to come back. Either way, keep your audience informed.

Encourage Digital Notetaking

Many in-person events, specifically seminars, training events, and conferences, provide notepads for participants to take notes. Those that don’t provide notepads often encourage people to bring their own notebooks.

As much as 50% of the waste that we create is paper waste. By switching from paper notetaking to digital notetaking, you can help cut down on this waste. Encourage users to shift to digital notetaking on their smartphones, tablets, or computers so that they don’t waste paper.

Opt for Hybrid

Even if you’re hosting an in-person event, incorporating some virtual components can make it greener. For example, you can host pre- or post-event sessions online. You can also offer a small number of tickets for in-person participation and open the event to more people online.

When it comes to sustainability, it’s not an all-or-nothing situation. Even small steps toward sustainability will help us create a greener future.

Host Virtual Events on Maestro


As we mentioned, a live streaming platform like Maestro is key to hosting greener virtual events. 

Maestro offers a wide variety of tools for hosting virtual events, including white-label live streaming, video monetization, streaming interactivity, and analytics. Plus, we offer real-time streaming, which is great for viewer engagement.

Interested in hosting a virtual event on Maestro? Sign up for free to start streaming in no time at all.

Join our Discord server to learn how other brands and creators are using Maestro to host virtual events.