• Sustainable SWAG

    POSTED March 4, 2019

    Three eco-friendly products offer a fresh take on common event goodies.

The Amazing Pasta Straw

With the global spread of plastic straw bans, plenty of plastic-free alternatives have hit the mainstream. The Amazing Pasta Straw, made simply from wheat and water, is completely biodegradable (that is, if it isn’t eaten). Unlike plastic straws, these won’t break down midsip and are clean of dyes and glues. Planners can test the straws with a sample pack or buy in bulk for large meetings and events. pastastraws.org

Amborella Organics Lollipops

Amborella Organics lollipops are as eyecatching as they are environmentally friendly. The hand-poured organic pops are made from cane sugar and edible herbs and fl owers such as lavender, hibiscus and mint for a refreshing burst of fl avor and striking visual. But it’s Amborella’s patented seed-bearing technology that makes these sweet treats a gift that keeps on giving. After enjoying a lollipop, simply plant the biodegradable stem and wait for a seedling to sprout. Seeds correspond to each pop fl avor and while Amborella off ers unique options like Peach & Marigold or Sage & Marshmallow, Champagne & Roses has become a crowd favorite for events. Planners can even work with Amborella to craft co-branding opportunities and custom fl avors. amborellaorganics.com

Dust City Designs Wood Stickers

Made from FSC certifi ed wood, Wood Stickers are etched, cut and printed by lasers and printers, then sanded and fi nished by hand. Unlike vinyl stickers, the wood decals are fully biodegradable, helping to eliminate micro-plastic pollution. With over 2,500 stock designs and the ability to create custom stickers, planners can join companies like Whole Foods and Instagram in creating guilt-free branded swag. woodstickers.com

In 2020, Houston First Corp. (HFC) reported that the city was slated to host 252 meetings and 611,000 room nights. By March 14, the Bayou City had already hosted 115 conventions and 137,400 room nights. Then the pandemic hit, and meetings and events across the country came to a screeching halt.

We asked Michael Heckman, acting president and CEO of Houston First Corp. (HFC) how the health crisis has influenced the organization’s business model moving forward.


Chances are, you won’t know you’re living through history until it’s too late. It’s already happening. A chain reaction has been set in motion and the ground has begun to slide beneath your feet.

This past year has been a whirlwind to say the least. As a global pandemic sent the world reeling, planners were left grasping for footholds as the event industry was brought to a standstill, and many of the most fundamental elements of live meetings and events were cast in a new light.


Great lighting is key. Smart décor is a must. But the mood of any gala, auction or awards ceremony lies largely on the shoulders of its master of ceremonies. Who you choose to represent your cause or organization on stage can be the difference between an event that is “ho-hum” or “electrifying.”

Texas Meetings + Events reached out to three of Texas’s favorite emcees. They shared with us how they got where they are—and what they’re doing now—along with some sage advice.