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Events industry leaders form group and launch study to collaborate on sustainable industry development

DALLAS, TX and LONDON, ENGLAND — April 22, 2020 — More than 20 leading organizations in the events industry have formed a collaborative group, called SEBIG or Sustainable Events: Big Initiative Group, to work together on major sustainability and environmental projects that have positive impacts and support the continued development of the events industry.

SEBIG is led by the world’s leading live event and brand experience company Freeman and leading exhibitions organizer Informa Markets, and involves representatives from major event organizers, venues and convention centers, leading trade associations and service providers to the industry.

Ben Wielgus, Head of Sustainability at Informa said: “We can achieve far more together, much faster and more cost effectively, than we can alone. By working across the whole of the events ecosystem, the formation of SEBIG can help us meet the growing expectations of our audience, while we play our part in contributing to sustainable development.”

One of the Group’s activities in 2020 will be to conduct a materiality assessment, focused on the US and Canadian markets, to gauge the views of a range of stakeholders involved in the events industry, to analyze relevant data and to help determine where it can best focus its efforts and make further advances towards environmental best practice.

“We want to be sure we understand the most important and impactful areas for SEBIG to focus on, with input from all stakeholder groups, including event organizers, exhibitors, facilities, and suppliers,” said Melinda Kendall, SVP Sustainability, Freeman.

“SISO is excited by this research opportunity and looking forward to engaging organizations across the industry through SEBIG to work together on projects that cannot be solved by individual organizations alone,” said David Audrain, Executive Director, Society of Independent Show Organizers.

There are also opportunities for additional organizations to join the steering committee for the study and contribute to its financing. Kendall said: “We are looking for organizations from all stakeholder groups who want to contribute directly to a major effort to improve the sustainability of the events industry, be involved in the design of the materiality assessment as it evolves, and to help determine next steps for us as we look to develop the solutions we need for a more sustainable events industry.”

If your organization is interested in participating, please contact Melinda Kendall ([email protected]) or Ben Wielgus ([email protected]).

About Sustainable Events: Big Initiative Group (SEBIG)
The Sustainable Events: Big Initiative Group (SEBIG), a group of more than 20 organizations from across the Global events ecosystem, was formed to help advance sustainability practices within the global events industry. The aim is to take a proactive industry-wide approach to help determine environmental impacts and opportunities, and work together to ensure and promote the industry’s ongoing sustainable development. The founding participants include representatives from Informa, Freeman, EIC, IAEE, RELX Group, RAI Amsterdam, GES, PAL Expo, IMEX, Sands, Messe Munchen, Anaheim Convention Center, IAEE, EDPR, UFI, EIC, Orange County Convention Center, Georgia World Congress Center, Stockholmsmassan, Oracle, HP, et al.

About Freeman
Freeman is the world’s leading live event and brand experience company. We help our clients design and deliver immersive live experiences for their most important audiences. Through comprehensive offerings including strategy, creative, logistics, digital, and event technology, Freeman helps increase audience engagement and drive business results. What makes us different is our collaborative culture, intuitive knowledge, global perspective, and personalized approach, which we’ve gained from our more than 90 years as an industry leader. For more information, please visit


About Informa Markets
Informa Markets creates platforms for industries and specialist markets to trade, innovate and grow. Our portfolio is comprised of more than 550 international B2B events and brands in markets including Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals to Infrastructure, Construction & Real Estate, Fashion & Apparel, Hospitality, Food & Beverage, and Health & Nutrition, among others. We provide customers and partners around the globe with opportunities to engage, experience and do business through face-to-face exhibitions, specialist digital content and actionable data solutions. As the world’s leading exhibitions organiser, we bring a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit