The term “future-proofing” was first used in the electronics industry. It describes a design goal to make software, computers and other electronics usable long after they’re sold, despite the constant improvements and developments that technology undergoes. Since then other industries have picked up the term, as they recognise the need to anticipate threats, trends and opportunities to make sure they stay relevant in the marketplace.

The problem

While future-proofing can seem quite daunting – how can you foresee new services such as Airbnb and Uber which disrupt whole industries? – there is one increasingly obvious future concern that the events industry (and other industries, too) can acknowledge and start adapting for now. And that is the need to be more sustainable.

Yes, you’re thinking, you know it’s an issue; it has been since the 80s. Why worry now? One could argue that the problem hasn’t been irrelevant for four decades, but rather it has been growing. Even if you’re still in denial about climate change, you cannot argue with the fact that our planet has a finite number of resources, and our throw-away economy is using them up. Meanwhile by-products of waste and pollution are also creating a financial burden. Things need to change. Are you ready to?

A solution

The Event Greening Forum (EGF) launched in 2009 to raise awareness, educate and mobilise the events industry to become more sustainable. Justin Hawes, the MD of Scan Display and a co-founder of the EGF, says, “Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions can be very resource-intense and wasteful, because of their temporary nature and need for quick turn-around times. Yet they are an effective marketing tool, and we should expect the number and scale of them to continue to grow. It’s vital we make sure they are sustainable.”

The great news is that there is huge scope to do this, which the EGF’s one day conference will explore under the banner ‘Future-proofing your business’. Sessions will delve into topics such as: planning for a water-sensitive future (‘Never let a crisis go to waste’), hosting a carbon neutral event (‘Estimate – Prevent – Offset’), and the opportunities available to us in dealing with these challenges (‘What if Climate Change isn’t only a crisis? What if it’s the best chance we’re ever going to get to build a better world?).

If you work in events – whether as an event or meeting planner in the public or private sector, at an exhibition or conference venue, or fall within the full range of event suppliers and sub-contractors – this is for you.

Additionally, an EGF Master Class will run the day before the conference. The theme is ‘How to activate change in human behaviour to promote sustainable outcomes in your business’. It is relevant to the same audience, and will impart knowledge that can help achieve many future-proofing goals.

Event details

The EGF Conference:

  • Date: Thursday 14 June 2018
  • Time: 8:00am to 5:00pm
  • Venue: the forum | white light in Lanseria, Johannesburg

The EGF Master Class:

  • Date: Wednesday 13 June 2018
  • Time: 12:00pm to 5:00pm
  • Venue: the forum | white light in Lanseria, Johannesburg

For more information and to book your seat, go to Alternatively contact Lynn McLeod: or 082 891 5883.

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