How to hold a paperless event

The idea of holding a paperless event is an appealing one. It’s not just easy for you and your attendees, it’s also good for the environment. With all the digital event support out there these days, we believe you really can hold an entirely paperless event without too much hassle. Apps, projectors, social media, email… you just need to look for the electronic solution. Have a read of our round-up of options and see if you can commit to going paper-free.

Early marketing

Make sure you communicate your paperless goals in all early marketing for your event. Getting delegates on board from the off will ensure everybody’s co-operation. You could offer rewards for delegates who support your ideals, perhaps discounted tickets for attendees who don’t print out any information?

Social media

Start talking about your event on a purpose-built Facebook page and Twitter account. Build a buzz, tease with hints about your schedule, get confirmed speakers to start conversations, ask questions – anything you can think of to stimulate interest and get people talking. These channels need to remain active in the build-up, throughout and after your event, so make sure you have a comprehensive plan on how you are going to use them. Opinion pieces on LinkedIn posted in appropriate groups and on the LinkedIn pulse channel will also help getting people talking about your event, and not one single tree will be harmed in the process.


There are very simple and comprehensive online and mobile registration tools which will make signing up for your event quick and easy. Eventbrite and others like it, will give you a completely paperless registration process. You’ll also be able to gather and keep all of your attendees’ details in one place. Very handy for all future communications.


If you’re directly targeting a group of people – perhaps last year’s guests – there’s no need to get the postman involved. A direct email invite followed by a phone call to confirm their response will save you time, money and be better for the planet. Remember, the more personal you can keep your communications the better so tailor your messages to your guests as much as possible.

Create your own event app       

This is one that’s more applicable to larger events, but if that’s you, then why not consider commissioning a company to build you a completely tailored-made app for your event. Once people have registered, they are invited to download the app where they will find everything they need including an up-to-date schedule of events, directions to the venue, details of speakers – any information you think your delegates might need. If your budget won’t stretch, there are apps already in existence you can download and adapt for your specific event.

Name tags

Digital name badges are a fabulous invention. A two-inch screen displays your delegate’s details and clips directly onto their clothes with a magnet. The devices are obviously re-programmable, so a truly sustainable option. They will, of course, be quite an investment, but once you have them, they will last year after year.

Signage and branding

There’s no need to print posters or graphics, projectors these days are good enough to display your company’s message even in bright daylight. Speak to your venue about your options, they are likely to have projectors you can hire and AV support so you’ll be in expert hands.


As well as scheduling in networking sessions, make it easy for your attendees to make contact with each other through your event app – no need for business cards. QR codes with delegates contact details could also be a part of attendee name badges.

Speaker notes and handouts

It’s important that your paperless message is taken seriously by everyone attending your conference, including your speakers. With plenty of advanced warning, your speakers should have no problem going entirely digital with their presentations. As well as using a laptop for their own reference rather than note cards, ask that they prepare handouts in electronic form so they can be emailed out to all delegates just before the talk starts. Individual laptop stations in your lecture theatre will enable attendees to download them, type their own notes directly onto them and email them back to themselves before they leave. QR codes are also a great way to digitally transfer information as and when your delegates want it.

The aftermath

As any event organiser knows, it’s really important people don’t stop talking about your event just because it’s ended. Keep the vibe alive with digital feedback forms, start discussions around your speakers’ topics on your social media channels. You could also offer early bird discounts on tickets for next year’s event using your electronic registration tool.

Conferences at W12 Conferences

We do everything we can to be as environmentally friendly as possible with all the events we put on. They are loads of things we can help you do to create a totally paperless event, just give the Events Team a call on 020 3313 1606 to see how we can work together.