The Green Meeting Industry Council is promising some outside-the-box programming at its annual Sustainable Meetings Conference, February 20–23 in Portland, Ore.

With the theme “Game On!,” the conference will immerse attendees in green meetings case studies throughout the course of the conference. Attendees will work in teams to develop a sustainability plan for an imaginary event and will compete with other teams to set sustainability objectives, select a location, and consider travel, costs, waste streams, and other issues. Team members will attend conference sessions and off-site tours to get the information needed to complete the case study.

“Even though it will be fun,” said GMIC Executive Director Tamara Kennedy-Hill, CMP, the content will be based on the environmental meeting standards set by APEX/ASTM as well as the British BS8901 standards. Working on the case studies, she said, will allow participants to see “how you actually apply these standards to a conference. It will really put it in context.”

Team leaders will be issued iPads on which they’ll enter and track their case study, and, in addition, QuickMobile, the company creating GMIC’s mobile conference app, has added functionality that will allow attendees to track their case study progress on their smartphones.

In other GMIC news, the association is offering a free monthly webinar series beginning February 2. Led by Nancy J. Zavada of MeetGreen, the sessions, typically will be focused on subjects such as organizing high-end sustainable meetings, sustainable food and beverage, and why sponsors love green meetings. For a complete list of the webinars, which will be held the first Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. PST, visit the GMIC Web site.