by Michael J. Shapiro | October 01, 2008
chart2Technologists and environmentalists alike have long dangled the promise of a paperless meeting as a real possibility. How much progress already has been made in that regard?
According to an August survey by M&C Research, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of the 224 planners who responded have reduced paper at their meetings, and an additional 16 percent plan to do so.

Furthermore, nearly half (49 percent) inquire about recycling efforts on the requests for proposal they send to potential venues.

On the other hand, of the 119 meeting planners who received attendee complaints about paper-reduction efforts, 39 percent fielded gripes on both sides of the issue: Some attendees felt they hadn't reduced enough, while others felt they had eliminated too much paper.

Those who have cut or reduced paper have most often done so in the areas of session handouts (81 percent), registration forms (66 percent) and pre-event marketing materials (65 percent).

Of course, the web has been a huge help: 81 percent of paper reducers have used online registration, and 80 percent post conference materials online. More good news: 65 percent say their paper-reduction efforts have saved money.