Trade Show Exhibits: Green is here to Stay

September 3rd, 2014 by Interex Exhibits



It started as what seemed like a passing trend, but in time we’ve learned that green exhibiting at trade shows is here to stay.

Many companies do it for the PR boost, to enhance their brand image. But of course there are also many tangible benefits for the environment — reduced carbon emissions, decreased air and water pollution, energy conservation, etc.

The cost of green exhibiting has often deterred companies, but with the increased popularity and demand for greener products and services, we’re starting to see more manageable price points.

We’re also seeing sustainable practices emerge from the fringes and into the mainstream. There are industry standards now, and there are more green-specific trade shows and exhibit companies than ever.

The Convention Industry Council has partnered with ASTM International to create voluntary standards for environmentally responsible meeting and convention planning. Greenbuild is specifically dedicated to sustainable building practices. And Greenspace is an exhibit consulting company that provides exclusively green methods for exhibitors.

Green exhibiting isn’t going anywhere, and it’s likely to become even more mainstream and therefore affordable in the near future. If they haven’t already done so, companies should begin to incorporate some staple best practices into all exhibit plans. They might even find that some green practices have other benefits as well.

The first step is to determine focused goals. Then, implement some of these easy ways to green up a trade show booth.

Carbon Emissions

Transportation can have a huge impact on a company’s carbon footprint. Lighten the load — use lighter materials or modular displays to decrease the fuel needed to transport materials to and from the trade show. (Bonus: less weight also equals less cost.)

Along those same lines, savvier packaging choices can help reduce environmental impact. Take care to use shipping containers made from recycled plastic or cardboard.

Promotional Materials

Reduce (if not completely eliminate) the paper handouts and brochures. Much of the paper that exchanges hands at trade shows ends up in trash cans anyway. Electronic devices like tablets can serve as an alternative way to display content to visitors.

If printed materials are necessary, consider using water-based inks, as opposed to solvent-based, when printing.

Look for products made from 100 percent recycled materials when determining promotional giveaway items. For example, give away reusable water bottles as opposed to one-use bottles. Also, try not to give away items that are individually wrapped.

Exhibit Design Materials

Instead of traditionally lit signage, LED lighting is extremely energy efficient. LED displays are an upfront cost for exhibitors, but in the long run, they will help save money and energy.

In addition, the exhibits themselves can be created from recycled materials or renewable resources such as bamboo and aluminum. Wood-based exhibits are on the rise as well, both in structure and flooring.

Ask for Help

Finally, work with people. Share goals and ask for help. Get advice from suppliers and exhibit companies and lean on their expertise.

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