Cocktails with Connolly: Green Conferences in the Golden City

San Francisco, a decadent cocktail, and a green conference planner’s ideal venue.

As a conference and trade show planner, my work takes me to convention centers and major venues around the world, giving me a unique view into what cities and large facilities are doing to address sustainability issues.

In this blog I’ll be writing about three of my passions — sustainability, event planning, and fine food and beverages. This is actually the second blog in this series: you can find the first post here.

Today, I’ll be sharing some lessons I learned from planning green conferences in the fanatically eco-friendly city of San Francisco. But first, sit back, relax and let me order you a…

A photo posted by Diana Connolly (@dianaconnolly007) on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:02am PDT

Decanted Mother-in-Law – Bourbon, curaçao, maraschino, amber, Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters, served in an apothecary bottle from The Interval Bar, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco.

I highly recommend this drink at this bar after a long week producing a 2500+ person conference at Fort Mason Center. Especially if you are a would-be sustainability expert and want to level-up your game.

The bar is operated by The Long Now Foundation, which fosters thought leadership on sustainability issues with a 10,000 year lens. Some of the decanted spirits leading this organization include executive director Alexander Rose, artist Brian Eno, environmentalist & writer Stewart Brand, and Kevin Kelly, senior Maverick at Wired magazine. We’ll need another cocktail to talk about the 10,000 year clock, the upcoming Long Now Member Summit, and other visionary programs of this unique organization.

The Interval and Long Now Foundation are located in Fort Mason Center. A former military base, it is now a vibrant arts and cultural center, and an ideal setting for planning a green event. Across the 13-acre campus […]

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    SOCAP 2016: Your Carbon Footprint: Conferences, Travel, and Climate Change

SOCAP 2016: Your Carbon Footprint: Conferences, Travel, and Climate Change

A SOCAP Conversation with Diana Connolly and Eric Zimmerman

SOCAP has become a gathering place for investors, innovators and entrepreneurs committed to addressing climate change. And yet, as we meet we create a considerable carbon footprint and contribute to the very problem we’re trying to address. We recently sat down with Diana Connolly and TripZero Founder Eric Zimmerman to talk about the surprising biggest factors driving climate change today, and their own approaches to reducing or even eliminating the carbon footprint.

This year SOCAP has partnered with TripZero to reduce the environmental impact of our conference. Attendees can now book your hotel room for SOCAP16 with TripZero (at a great discounted rate). TripZero will then measure and offset the carbon footprint of your trip to the conference, at no cost to you.

SOCAP’s Production Manager, Diana Connolly, also uses her expertise in green event planning to ensure that the event is produced in a way that aligns with our commitment to environmental responsibility.

What is the carbon footprint of an event like SOCAP, where over 2500 attendees convene for 3 days?
DianaConnolly: Greenhouse gas emissions generated by an event come from three sources: activities generated by planning the event, electricity used at the event site, and the emissions generated by attendee travel. Of these three areas, about 85-95% of event GHG emissions come from attendee travel, and among this category, air travel is the primary contributing source.

In sustainability management & reporting, activities that are under the direct control of the show managers are called Scope 1 and Scope 2 activities. Scope 3 activities are the result of the event, but are not under the direct control, which unfortunately makes it trickier to manage. Attendee air travel is considered a […]

  • Human Rights Wall at CCIB
    Permalink Human Rights Wall at CCIBGallery

    Cocktails with Connolly: gin, fresh grapefruit, human rights, event swag, over ice

Cocktails with Connolly: gin, fresh grapefruit, human rights, event swag, over ice

Cheers to human rights in Barcelona

In this blog I’ll be writing about three of my passions — sustainability, event planning, and fine food and beverages.

I’ve been producing “green” conferences, trade shows and other events around the world for the last 20+ years. Through this work I have gained a unique perspective on how different cities and venues approach sustainability. I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned with you.

Whether scouting locations or producing an event, the days are long and often stressful, but evenings are the reward. At night we get to experience local culture, and finding just the right spot for a cocktail is one of the best ways to capture the unique vibe of a city. In this series, I’ll not only be sharing event planning advice— I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite cocktails with you too.

So sit back, relax, and let me order you a…
Bitter & Twisted – made with gin, grapefruit juice, Compari, passion fruit juice, served over ice and garnished with large slices of fresh grapefruit, from the super fun Crepes Al Born, in Barcelona’s Born district.

After 7 long days at the (spectacularly cool) Barcelona International Convention Center (CCIB), when the 999th detail – flawlessly executed – has fried you as crispy as a Croqueta de Bacalao, this refreshing tropical cocktail will turn around your day and set you right for enjoying a balmy Catalonian evening.

This cocktail pairs nicely with the entrancing Modernisma architecture, the sensuality of the water’s edge; the live music wafting through the streets, and that table-side Iberian ham carver, with his leather carving glove, offering to “carve your ham,” that you just can’t say no to…

But of all my Barcelona impressions, I was most moved […]

DrupalCon: Producing a Sustainable Conference

The Drupal Association aims to produce DrupalCon conferences in alignment with our commitment to environmental and social responsibility. As the production manager, I have an important role in making sure we make informed purchasing decisions and form strategic partnerships with our venue and vendors. I’d like to share just a few of the things we address behind the scenes during the planning process.
Read more….

All Events Should Be Green Events

From public conferences, to industry meetings, to world summits, events are where people gather to announce academic breakthroughs, discuss industry changes and societal challenges, and put forth our best ideas and thought leadership. Live events are not going away.

All of us who plan events need to understand how the decisions we make at even the smallest level contribute to a global industry impact. SOCAP (Social Capital Markets), acts on values by making informed decisions in order to minimize impact and support vendors and suppliers who are making a difference.

Read more in this article from Diana Connolly:

Green Event Planning: Sustainability at SOCAP

By |November 17th, 2015|news|0 Comments|

The final capstone presentation tonight at Dominican University will make my MBA in Sustainable Enterprise Official!

My subject is on, what else?  Sustainable Events and Marketing Programs!
Thanks to everyone who supported me along this journey.

We are also launching our new web site tonight – RIP my old Flash site which I loved, but we had to get ourselves functional in 2012.

Thanks to Kahl Consultants for their ability to get a big job done well under deadline!

By |December 1st, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on |

Groundswell Marketing is pleased to announce that founder Diana Connolly has earned her MBA in Sustainability from Dominican University tonight at Guzman Lecture Hall.

Her capstone presentation, Sustainable Events and Marketing Programs, reviews trends in corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as the state of the green meetings industry.

By |December 1st, 2012|Uncategorized|Comments Off on |


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