About the author:

Author: Judy Kucharuk

Judy Kucharuk is a green meeting specialist and owner of Footprint Management Systems Inc., a sustainable event planning and consultancy firm. Judy is a writer, speaker and meeting innovator, most recently launching a new conference session style known as Bl!nk. She is currently serving on the GMIC Canada Chapter in Formation Board as the incoming President.

Articles by Judy Kucharuk

  • Measuring the impact of socially responsible events

    The lights have been turned off in the breakout rooms; the conference concierge desk has been dismantled, and the attendees have checked out of their hotel rooms. Whew! Finally… time to take a breath, enjoy a well deserved glass of wine and reflect on a job well done. Look around you. Do you see them? The faint footprints of social good – the inspiring influence that will linger long after the event is over. Do you hear it? The quiet…

  • Progress before perfection

    Small footsteps keep us moving forward Fear is a powerful thing: Fear that we will fail. Fear that someone will judge us unfairly. Fear holds us back. Stepping off the ledge and embracing the concept of sustainable meetings and events can be really scary. Where to begin? What do we do first? How do we convince our stakeholders, our clients, our staff? Are we doing it right? This then begs the question: What is the worst that could happen? During…

  • In my expert opinion…

    Did that headline encourage your eyebrows to rise ever so slightly…or perhaps cause an eye roll? Are you thinking, “Pfft! How dare she call herself an expert!” An expert is defined as: A person who has a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of or skill in a particular area. It doesn’t mean that someone is the best, or the most knowledgeable on a specific subject or area; it simply means that they feel (or others feel) that their knowledge base is…

  • When social media feels like work: Networking with an over-stimulated audience

    “It feels like work.” Those were the words spoken by a twenty something university student in response to the question, “How active are you on social media?” “Jane” went on to explain that the insidious nature of social media has taken all of the fun out of it and that it now has become an expectation. As a result, she has abandoned Facebook. She rarely tweets. “How do you network?” I ask, completely flummoxed by the conversation. “Over coffee or…

  • Green to the last drop: Five easy strategies to reduce the water footprint of your next event

    You might be surprised to learn that my northern British Columbia community suffers from a water shortage almost every single year. Yes folks, it does happen in Canada. In fact, when many of you are enjoying the tender, emerging buds of spring, my friends and neighbours are facing notices outlining how the water restrictions can (and probably will) escalate from “stage one” through “stage four”. Stage four isn’t pretty. Water is always on our minds. We worry about it constantly,…

  • Green fatigue: Feeling blue in a world of green

    I am going to warn you right from the start: If you live in a world where unicorns roam, double rainbows are a daily occurrence and the air is scented with the smell of caramel corn….perhaps you shouldn’t read this. Things are not as rosy as they seem. Here it goes: “I am a Green Meeting Planner and I think/ am pretty sure/not officially diagnosed yet, that I might be suffering from green fatigue.” It’s true. Lately I have been…

  • The name game: What defines a green meeting or event?

    “Green, Green, bo-been Banana-fana fo-feen Fee-Fi-mo-meen Green!” One of the biggest challenges facing proponents of the green meeting industry is the idea that a “green” meeting is something completely different from a “traditional” meeting. This misperception is perpetuated by many of us within the industry, where we continue to differentiate them so definitively in every conversation that we have. We cannot resist the urge to label everything, create an acronym, establish a #hashtag and go on a speaking tour. Yes……

  • Nine ideas for injecting energy into your next meeting or conference

    When I tell people that I am leaving to attend a conference in an amazing city or country, they usually say things like: “wow, you are so lucky that you get to go there,” and “take lots of pictures!” They don’t realize that I will only see the airport, the conference hotel or facility and whatever else I can glimpse outside the taxi cab’s window as I make my way to and from the airport. The taxi ride is normally…

  • Don’t worry, be Appy: Seven tips to elevate your game with mobile event applications

    “Are we there yet?” Little Johnny is kicking the back of the seat, obviously bored, the seatbelt rubbing against the side of his flushed face, his patience long abandoned. If you are a planner who has resisted embracing the plethora of mobile event application opportunities available, chances are your attendees are feeling like “Little Johnny”. In a technological world that is spinning faster and faster, if you are not including even the simplest of event applications or social media technology,…