GMIC Trainer Profile for February 2012: Diana Graling, CMM CMP CSEP
Diana Graling CMM,
CMP, CSEP is an award-winning certified meetings and special events
professional who has earned accolades and international awards managing events
for corporations, international associations, and not-for-profit agencies.
Diana is an active leader and educator in the industry, serving on the boards
of various meetings and events associations.
Diana was selected
as the lead instructor and developer for GMIC's Foundations for
Sustainable Event Planning course. This course provides the business
context to sustainability integration and prepares participants to be
ready for ISO 20121 courses and GMIC's APEX/ASTM 7 Steps to Integration
To register for the April 21, 2012 training course, visit HERE.
GMIC Asks Diana: Biggest aha moments?
My biggest aha moment happened while attending the GMIC green meeting
conference in Vancouver: I was hit by the realization that I worked in an
industry that is one of the largest global producers of waste. I knew that I
wanted to be a part of the solution – through my events, but also through
teaching, speaking, and eventually, writing about how to be a more sustainable
How does following a process (that the course outlines) make
sustainability more engaging among stakeholders? One of the most common challenges planners who are new to
sustainable event planning face is how to get started. Having a process
provides planners with a step-by-step approach – it’s just like walking. That’s
why I recommend that you start off with "baby steps.” Decide in your own mind that you want to be
more sustainable in your event planning. Then, with your first step,
you might start informally entering into dialogues with people you trust on
your team, and even management, to gauge their interest. That’s a baby step.
From there, you might research how sustainability could formally support the
organizations stated mission, vision or values – another baby step. With the
right support and motivation, you’ll keep adding steps and before you know it,
you’re off and running. Stakeholders like to know that you’ve taken the steps and done your research.
Where do checklists best fit into sustainable event planning?
Checklists fit into sustainable event planning the same way they
fit into event planning:
Avoid forgetting: the
obvious benefit is that they give you and your team a reference to make sure
nothing falls through the cracks.
Proactive instead of
reactive: the less obvious benefit is that the act of creating a
checklist – especially in collaboration with your team – helps you shine a
light on tasks that might otherwise not be thought of until the last minute.
delegating: creating a checklist also helps to minimize feeling overwhelmed
by the "unknown”, because once you write down your checklist items you can look
at them and start delegating resources to them, establishing scope of work,
prioritizing items into what is a must have and what might not be worth the
effort this time.