A conference organizer contemplates the effect freeloaders have on the recycling industry.
What does integrity mean to you?
I’ve been wrestling with a problem that I have noticed in the recycling industry as it relates to conferences that take place across the country.
There is a growing effort by some individuals to ride on the coattails of events like our Southeast Recycling Conference (SERC), Resource Recycling’s Plastics Recycling Conference, Recycling Today Media Group’s Paper Recycling Conference & Trade Show, Waste & Recycling News’ Corporate Recycling & Waste Conference and many of the state recycling association events, not paying for registration but rather sitting in the hotel lounge and setting up meetings with paying conference attendees.
If it were not for these events, whoever puts them on, business in the recycling industry would not get done at the rate it does.
Our organization, which is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), relies on the proceeds from our events to sustain operations, just as you rely on sales in your business.
Whether you know it or not, you—the honest paying attendee—are being cheated just as we are.
As event organizers, we have fixed costs associated with operating our events. The fewer people who register, the more our registration fees are going to go up.
Guess who ultimately pays?
The honest, paying attendee.
I encourage you to reach out to individuals you know in the industry who are not registered for whatever event you are at and put some pressure on them to step up to the plate and register.
I understand that times are tough and these folks are just trying to save money, but it is in the best interest of the recycling industry for these folks to support the organizations that put on these events.
Whatever recycling event you are at, I hope you will try to convince others to participate along with you, for we all have something to gain in the end!
Eugene B. Jones, executive director, Southern Waste Information eXchange Inc. (SWIX), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and organizer of the Southeast Recycling Conference & Trade Show