Driving Sustainable Impact: Three Years of ITM and Event Cycle Collaboration

17 May 2024

For the third year in a row, ITM (Institute of Travel Management) and Event Cycle have come together to continue working to make the annual ITM Conference sustainable. 

In 2022, the leading conference for corporate travel took place in Birmingham and Event Cycle helped the team to repurpose and recycle over 500 lanyards, 200 water bottles, a large graphic backdrop and 35 edible plant centrepieces. supporting local organisations such as FoodCycle and Cofton Road Allotments. 

For the 2023 edition, Brighton was the destination for the business travel attendees. And on the repurposing and recycling list this time were backdrops, badges and a Social Impact project that was not only environmentally sustainable but socially too. 

Rather than opting for conventional florists, ITM collaborated with local business, Hearts & Flowers, an organisation promoting ethical floristry and horticulture. Participants at the conference engaged in a workshop to create table centrepieces using locally grown, low-impact flowers, whilst learning how to grow plants sustainably. 

After the conference, these centrepieces found a second life at a local care home, bringing joy to residents and enhancing their living spaces. The care home even organised its own flower arranging session using the donated flowers, prolonging their use and reducing waste further. 

With another social mission on the agenda for 2024, ITM and Event Cycle worked together to create an interactive attendee challenge, which saw all of the exhibitors get involved too. The icebreaker task this time was to pack food parcels for BMECP (Black & Minority Ethnic Community Partnership). 

Attendees were encouraged to come to the conference with items ranging from dried foods to hygienic supplies. The donations were then turned into a social challenge. 

The items were spread across the different sponsor stands and teams were formed to pack the parcels for the charity. With a shopping list of items required for each box, delegates in teams of three, received eight paper bags each. Over the course of eight rounds, lasting five minutes each, teams visited the sponsor stands to fill their bags with items from the lists. This resulted in a minimum of eight parcels per team, each containing three items such as dried foods, toiletries, and cleaning products.

Once packed and prepared for transport, one of the sponsors of the event, Enterprise, helped to take the parcels to their final destinations. 

“I would like to express my gratitude, as I have just seen the packages that were delivered.
WOW!! I want to highlight that donations such as these are hugely appreciated, helping over 75 children and 50 adults every week.

I know our foodbank recipients will be overwhelmed with these because the demand for food is increasing daily. Again, thank you for supporting those in need during these difficult times"

BMCEP Food Bank

The BMECP Food Bank provides emergency food parcels for people in crisis who live in Brighton and Hove. Each food parcel contains non-perishable and nutritionally balanced food items. Their food bank is open every Friday from 12pm to 3pm. They take referrals for individuals, families and professionals. Their immediate focus is to raise money and food donations now in order to provide essential-emergency food to those in need. 

As for the lanyards and centrepieces which always feature at the event.The lanyards were recycled with Terracycle and the centrepieces went on to live another life at yet another nursing home in the Brighton area. Grosvenor Lodge Hove received the centrepieces and held their own flower-arranging workshop with their residents and then decorated the care home and the resident's rooms with them,

For three years running, ITM and Event Cycle have joined forces to drive sustainability at the annual ITM Conference. From Birmingham to Brighton, their efforts have not only reduced waste but also sparked meaningful social change. As they continue to innovate and collaborate, they set a powerful example, proving that impactful events can make a difference in both the environment and the community.