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Carbon Unbound: A deep-dive with the world’s leading carbon removal summit

We were very pleased to be able to sit down for a chat with Carbon Unbound – the leading carbon removal summit, and happy Ticket Tailor user

a green forest with mountains in the background

Here at Ticket Tailor, we’re passionate about doing our bit to protect the environment. (We recently earned official B-Corp status, and are proud to work closely with a number of charities who are doing amazing work in this field.) It goes without saying, then, that we were very pleased to be able to sit down for a chat with Carbon Unbound – the leading carbon removal summit, and happy Ticket Tailor user. Because of our own commitment to environmental causes (check out our Penny for the Planet promise), we couldn’t wait to get into the nitty gritty of this incredible, pioneering initiative. 

Picture this – more than 350 business leaders, scientists, investors, buyers, policymakers, and advocates coming together with a singular, planet-changing mission: to remove one gigaton of CO2 from the earth’s atmosphere. To put that into context, one gigaton is one million tonnes, which equates to roughly twice the mass of all human beings on the planet. That’s… a lot. A bold mission, indeed. A vital one; one that we were thrilled to learn more about in our interview with Oliver Katz, CEO and Founder at Carbon Unbound.

Let’s get stuck straight in 👇.

✅ Some key takeaways

💡Giving your attendees the chance to not only learn, but share their own extensive knowledge, makes for a richer, more fulfilling summit. 

🤝There’s nothing to say your event has to have virtual elements – in fact, going in-person only can be a highly effective way to give attendees a break from their digitally-dominated lives.

🎟️ Releasing a series of super early bird and early bird tickets can help give you a more accurate view of what your event revenue is going to be.

Ticket Tailor: Give us a quick intro to Carbon Unbound, and how it all began:

Oliver: Carbon removal is at an inflexion point, and it's now critical for there to be a dedicated gathering for industry leaders to share ideas, collaborate and attract outside interest if we are to remove carbon by the gigaton. 

That's why Carbon Unbound was created. The global leadership summit, which takes place in New York and London, brings together global pioneers of carbon removal, storage and utilisation solutions to accelerate progress. Over 350 start-up founders, corporate leaders, policy purveyors, and climate investors attend, promoting a holistic conversation around gigaton-scale removal. 

How it started: After spending four years hosting senior leadership summits in the food-tech sector, I took some time to travel. During this trip, and while seeing climate change's intensifying effects, I became obsessed with carbon removal. I saw huge potential and an ever-increasing need for it to succeed. But there were no focused events on the topic, only broad climate summits that may have had a session around Direct Air Capture (DAC) or carbon removal more broadly. 

I had experienced first-hand the transformative power of leadership events in helping to scale novel technologies. Speaking with a number of pioneers in the space gave me the confidence to launch Carbon Unbound. 

Ticket Tailor: What have been some of your most significant milestones and challenges so far?

Oliver: We officially launched in February of this year and have successfully put on two events, both of which sold out! Our team has grown to six, and the summits have found support from big corporations – from Barclays, Nasdaq and Drax to some exciting innovators in the industry, such as Supercritical, Covalent and Alcove

Some of our challenges include being a fully remote team dealing with multiple time zones, ensuring our summits appropriately reflect the industry’s opportunities and challenges, and delivering value beyond the events’ last day. We’re working on something exciting to help with the last one 🙂. 

Both 2023 events were a huge success and the feedback we received is essential to developing this series further. Highlights included both summits selling out, having notable companies support us in our first year, and receiving positive feedback from attendees, speakers and sponsors about how the event helped drive the industry forward. 

Ticket Tailor: Sounds amazing – congrats! How do you go about organising such brilliant events on this kind of scale, logistics-wise?

Oliver: We pride ourselves on our focus on research with the industry. Our event planning takes around six months per event, and thousands of hours go into ensuring every element of the summit is curated and relevant. Our six-strong team meticulously covers everything, including sourcing speakers, choosing a suitable venue, accepting sponsors and even vetting attendees (more than 70% are director-level or above). 

Ticket Tailor: Impressive. It sounds like Carbon Unbound has a diverse offering (we love the sound of campfire breakouts!) – how do you go about designing these elements?

Oliver: Interactive elements are integral to delivering value to our attendees and the industry. We spend a lot of time in the ideation phase, thinking of new formats that allow for insight sharing, collaboration and networking opportunities. It’s not just our speakers who have a wealth of knowledge but also our attendees, and we want them to have opportunities to share it! 

Ticket Tailor: Love that. What about your decision to be in-person only, with no virtual elements – how has that panned out?

Oliver: The reception has been hugely positive. Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to virtual event offerings, but we really believe in (and have seen time and time again) the power of in-person meetings. In this digital age, many of us sit behind our computers for eight or more hours a day. Our events give people a big excuse to break this cycle, allowing them to meet people they’ve been speaking with online for the first time, and feed off each other's energy and passion.

The fact we’ve sold out both our events so far and have a very high attendance rate for ticket holders shows us our audience loves this format. 

Ticket Tailor: On that note – do you have any advice for event organisers thinking of going in-person only?

Oliver: My advice for those wanting to take the leap is to know your audience and be led by what people and your data tell you. I wouldn’t recommend switching to fully in-person on a whim if you've been running entirely virtual events for years. Talk to your audience, run a half-day meet-up as a trial in an area where lots of your audience is located, or offer a select amount of in-person tickets alongside virtual ones to test the waters. 

Secondly, don’t underestimate the additional work and cost required to host in-person meetings. But, if you do it right, I think you’ll be surprised by just how many people (including your team) have positive things to say about your decision. 

Ticket Tailor: Makes sense! Now let’s talk ticketing – why choose Ticket Tailor as your ticketing partner? 

Oliver: The platform is easy to use for both us and our attendees and integrates with other software at a very reasonable price point. Many ticketing partners charge a percentage of your ticket price which can become incredibly expensive, especially when launching – whereas Ticket Tailor charges a flat fee on each ticket. In short – we’ve been super happy with everything!

Ticket Tailor: That’s great to hear! Our readers might be interested to know… How do you go about devising your ticketing strategy?

Oliver: We have a limited number of tickets available across super early bird, early bird and general sale, which works particularly well for us and allows us to more accurately monitor what our event revenue is going to be, which enables us to invest more into the summit. We’ve tried two different release periods, one over six months and one across three months, and found a shorter window most effective.  

Ticket Tailor: Nice. Finally – what does the future hold for Carbon Unbound?

Next year, we’re planning to add another Carbon Unbound event to the series and launch a totally new event in New York that runs alongside Carbon Unbound. We are also building a solution to extend and amplify our event value past the actual days people attend, and we’re excited to share more about how we plan to do this in the coming months. Finally, we’re working on improving the sustainability of our services and operations as we don’t just want to talk the talk but also walk the walk. 

If anyone wants to learn more about Unbound Summits or join us on our mission to scale science-based solutions to the world's most pressing challenges through human connection – we’d love to hear from them. You can find us on LinkedIn and X or subscribe to our mailing list on our website to be the first to hear about releases and news.  

Ticket Tailor: Sounds awesome! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us – we can’t wait to see what you guys do next 🌍💪.

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