Implementing APEX/ASTM Standards at Convening Leaders

When the PCMA Green Task Force began discussing the new APEX/ASTM Standards, the organization started to think of how PCMA could teach its members about these new standards.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the APEX/ASTM Standards, they are guidelines to produce more environmentally-friendly meetings and conventions. CIC has been working on them for a few months now, to produce a set of industry standards to make meetings more sustainable. Currently, CIC and the APEX/ASTM Standard Committee are working on finalizing the 9 standards to prepare them for voting, to be approved and published early 2011.

Now, PCMA’s annual meeting, Convening Leaders, already has an incredible number of components, forcing our meetings team to be spread pretty thin. I approached PCMA’s Vice President of Meetings & Events, Kelly Peacy, to see if she thought it would be possible to attempt two of these standards (On-site Office and Food and Beverage) for the January 2011 meeting.

Kelly agreed that PCMA should showcase these standards and asked that I work with Vicky Betzig on the Meetings Team to implement them. After reading and reviewing the list, we found that PCMA already meets some of the requirements; however, there was room for growth. By early fall 2010, we decided that our goal would be to achieve level 1 for all aspects of the On-Site Office and Food and Beverage Standards.

These standards are not just for planners, half of the requirements are for suppliers as well. It is important to distribute the supplier requirements to all parties involved as soon as possible. The MGM Grand was happy to work with Vicky to respond to what items they already do and what they can do by January. Make sure you leave yourself time to work through these standards, and keep in mind the meetings contact at the conference center will not generally have this information readily available.

Since Vicky and I began this process, we have developed an implementation and marketing plan, in order to understand what needs to be completed by January.

We hope that by working to achieve these standards for the 2011 PCMA Convening Leaders, we are able to produce documents to assist you in implementing these standards for your own organization’s meetings.

Please join us on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 for our education session, Implementing Environmentally Sustainable Standards, at Convening Leaders, to see the case study on what was done and to learn tips and gain tools for you to use when exploring these new standards.

If you have any questions relating to APEX/ASTM Standards and how we implemented them at Convening Leaders, feel free to contact me at I look forward to hearing from you.

Convene Editors