Rethinking Conference Swag

April 25, 2019

Conferences can be big productions, and that means some unnecessary waste. We’re always working on minimizing our impact (like making sure our signage is reusable for future events), but this year, we’re taking it one step further:

To reduce GOTO Chicago’s environmental footprint, we’ve teamed up with Ecoisa to trade in cheap swag for planted trees.

If you don’t yet know Ecosia, they’re a search engine that uses their profits to plant trees where they’re needed most. These trees benefit people, the environment and local economies. They also publish all monthly financial reports and tree planting receipts so users can hold them accountable as they work towards their goal of planting 1 billion trees (they’re currently at over 55 million trees planted).

So how does Ecosia fit into GOTO Chicago? We’re donating a chunk of our conference budget to Ecosia in place of producing new branded swag.

To encourage attendees to vote on conference sessions via our GOTO Guide conference app, we hand out prizes as a reward for votes. For our upcoming conference (April 28-May 2), when attendees vote for at least 5 sessions, instead of picking up branded swag, they’ll receive an Ecosia certificate confirming that their votes contributed to a tree planted where it’s needed most.

We’re grateful for Ecosia’s involvement in our conference, and we look forward to working on more ways to make our events more environmentally friendly!

-The GOTO Chicago Team