Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Denver Convention Update

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Denver Convention Update

Kaerick and Monocot are my dear friends living in Denver. They are volunteers for the Convention so they'll be posting as things start to get rolling.

Just in Time for Earth Week, Workshop Teaches Event Planners, Venue Managers and Caterers How to Go Green

Denver, CO - April 24, 2008 - In recognition of Earth Week, a workshop was held today to teach professionals in the meeting, event and convention industry how to create environmentally sustainable celebrations and gatherings.

The fifth in a series of workshops aimed at encouraging "green" business practices throughout Denver and the state, this workshop was aimed specifically at venue managers and owners, caterers and meeting and event planners. Previous workshops, attended by hundreds of local entrepreneurs and employees, have focused on restaurants, hotels, and the printing industry.

The series of workshops is being conducted in advance of this summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver and is designed to support the city's goal, as expressed by Denver Mayor John W. Hickenlooper, of making this "the greenest convention ever."

"The convention and meeting industry is a complex constellation of small and large businesses," said Parry Burnap, Denver Director of Greening. "Here in Denver there is a wealth of leadership leading the way - at the Convention Center, Convention Bureau, Denver Theatres and Arenas, the Pepsi Center, and many other small green businesses."

"This workshop and the overall greening effort of the Denver Host Committee is helping to bring all of these players together in new ways, provide them with information and tools in order to push us all faster to the 'tipping point' after which green will simply be how we do what we do - a habit. That is our legacy vision, and Greenprint Denver is committed to sustaining this work beyond the Democratic National Convention."

The "green events" workshop began with opening remarks from Denver Mayor JohnHickenlooper and Richard Scharf, President of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. It then focused on a series of case studies in which large local events were created with sustainability in mind. Event planners from Planet Bluegrass, the Colorado Convention Center and the Booklover's Ball shared their expertise in creating successful and environmentally friendly events. More than 40 professionals also were on hand to provide guidance and assistance with greening aspects of specific upcoming events. A "lean and green" lunch was served by Centerplate.

"In the recent 2008 Watkins survey of the largest convention meeting planners in the nation, 34 percent of the planners said they have received requests from their members to book only 'green' cities for future meetings, and four out of ten planners said that they would consider how 'green' a city is as a 'tie-breaker' between cities that are similar on other characteristics," said Scharf. "Green is here to stay and everyone who participates in a seminar to learn how they can help make Denver greener is helping both the city -- and their own future business."

"Participants really appreciated walking away with action plan outlines based on six sustainable business principles," said Janna Six, Education Director for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, and a key workshop trainer. "They expressed commitments to take specific actions which will remain in place as a green legacy, long after the convention is over."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and Greenprint Denver helped sponsor the event. The workshops are organized by Denver Host Committee staff, led by Greening Director Parry Burnap, and Greenprint Denver, the city's long-term sustainability program.

About Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee
The Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee has four contractual partners in its work. Those partners are the Democratic National Convention Committee, the City and County of Denver, Kroenke Sports and its own Executive Committee.


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