Forum targets research to drive sustainability summit agenda

The organisers of the Global Sustainable Events Summit (GSES) have unveiled a new research-led vision for the event in 2016, and have called for the industry to work with them to drive sustainability to the top of the event agenda.

At a forum held in London & Partners’ Tower Room attended by 29 people, including representatives of agencies and suppliers, including Freeman XP, NEC, Gleneagles and The Bulb, GSES organisers Smyle, Sustainable Events Limited, Positive Impact and Rachel Ley Consultancy (RLC) laid out their ambition to turn the event into not only a place to debate the latest sustainability thinking for events but to chart a course for research, using brand experiences.

With the UN sustainability goals and the adoption of the universal climate change agreement from the COP 21 at the forefront of the global agenda, organisers said a new-style GSES would help the event industry in the UK to understand its sustainability goals and level of implementation.

“Through thought-leadership research projects over the next four months and the live Summit later in the autumn, GSES will help to highlight the perceived ‘knowledge gap’ between what the industry is actually doing and what it needs to do,” the organisers said.

During this week’s forum, delegates and the wider industry were asked also to co-fund the new research-led format and help build the 2016 programme and content for the autumn Summit.

Leading this call for support, Smyle Group MD Rick Stainton said: “We want to make sustainability a reality and we want to make it the new industry ‘norm’. This is why we wanted key stakeholders from all sectors of the live comms and events industry to join us to help us create as wide a mandate as possible. It was therefore particularly pleasing that so many senior industry figures took time out of their busy schedules to take part in the forum discussions.

“We are now confident that, with GSES acting as the catalyst for confident engagement on the subject of sustainability, we can inspire a better partnership approach to best practice between the events industry and their clients.”

Echoing this, Rachel Ley, MD of RLC said: “We were delighted with the obvious enthusiasm and commitment as well as the wealth of ideas that sprang from the forum’s workshop. It was clear that everyone there has their own experience to contribute and a great willingness to be part of the sustainability conversation.  We hope many of them will join us as GSES partners and sponsors as we embark on this exciting new journey.”

For more information about GSES 2016, or to find out how to become a sponsor or partner, contact Rick Stainton e:, Fiona Pelham e: or Rachel Ley at


Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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