Sustainable Events and Historic Buildings

Our new paper, ‘The Role of Sustainable Events in the Management of Historic Buildings’, has been published today in the journal Sustainability.  This is an open-access journal, meaning that anyone can read and download the paper from here.

Trinity House

As the use of historic building as venues for commercial activity grows, events management professionals working in historic buildings are faced with a number of sustainability challenges, including conservation, preservation, social value and financial sustainability, as well as with satisfying their clients. In particular, these professionals are required to maintain the complex balance between the competing priorities of historic value and contemporary relevance. Little research has thus far investigated the role that sustainable events can play in the management of historic buildings, beyond considerations of the trade-off between conservation and income generation. This research analyses the contribution that events can make to the sustainable management of historic buildings, with an emphasis on understanding the perspectives of event managers within these properties, based on qualitative interviews with historic building event managers and stakeholders in London, United Kingdom. A key finding of the research is that event managers within historic buildings have complex views of sustainability that are specific to these properties and which are not captured in the mainstream events management literature. The paper contributes to the emerging literature on sustainable events and also develops earlier research on the role of events and other income-generating activities in historic buildings

Responsible Events

I recently gave a talk on ‘Responsible Events’ at the Event Horizons conference in Cornwall.  You can see the presentation below.  ‘Responsibility’ is a new way of thinking about sustainability.  In this presentation, I argue that ‘sustainability’ has been the least successful policy agenda of the last 50 years.  Top-down policies, frameworks and industry standards haven’t delivered sustainable events or helped us to make global development more sustainable in general.

Sustainable-events

The concept of responsible events puts the emphasis on what the events industry is good at: bringing people together, using technology creatively and producing amazing experiences.  Instead of implementing dry management standards to brand events as ‘green’, we should be designing events that help event managers and event customers to share the responsibility to create positive impacts on the environment and society.

The presentation below was originally just made up of images – text has been added.