Campus News

February 15, 2010

Event planners swap supplies to go green

3D renderings of event venues are among the offerings of the Office of University Events.

The University’s meeting and event planners have found new and creative ways stretch their budgets during a time when lavish social gatherings and formal celebrations have been scaled back. 

Encore! is the newest service offered by Events Exchange, an educational forum and social network to connect Emory staff, faculty and students who plan and provide services for campus events.

Encore!, a free online service, encourages campus event planners to reuse, repurpose and share materials for events. Meeting and event planners can now save their departments money while reducing environmental waste through this new resource that assists them as they order event supplies.

“In many cases, we are adding value where no budget would have existed otherwise,” says Michael Kloss, executive director for the Office of University Events. “Encore! can be used for items like floral decor, left over pre-packaged food and beverages, as well as event rentals and even audio visual services. The options are limitless.”

The Office of University Events created Events Exchange in September with 150 members; in just over four months, membership has increased to 250.

“This program, which we produce at virtually zero cost, provides significant return on investment for the time committed by the members,” says Kloss. “Through bi-monthly meetings, members learn best practices, have chances to network with colleagues, meet new vendors, learn about venues, and interact with campus service providers.”

Encore! was created to support the meeting planners connected via Events Exchange. According to Kloss, “we’ve always been trying to share resources and reuse items, but it’s hard to let everyone know when something is going to be available. Encore! makes it easier to reach out to more event planners at once. Repurposing can now be intentional and widespread, not just by happenstance.”

Encore! can be accessed directly through the Events Office Web site or members can see what’s available on Encore! through social media applications like Facebook and Twitter; a listserv also distributes information on “hot” items that are available within two business days. Members can even post a wish list request for a future need.

Kloss adds that the first encore! posting had a successful exchange by two departments. The Transforming Community Project was able to use the ferns, mums, and palms from the Feb. 1 Founders Dinner at their own event two days later.  Better still, Kloss says, “they re-posted the items on encore! for others to use.”  Such multiple-use scenarios is what allows a program like encore! to save the University significant money.

Kloss hopes that encore! will further develop to include other surplus materials on campus. “I can see this expanding to include unused office supplies like toner and spare equipment.

Learn more about encore! at the next Events Exchange meeting on March 24 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

Registration for the Events Exchange and encore! can be found at

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