Tips for Going Green at Your Next Trade Show

As environmental concerns rise to the forefront, event planners and exhibitors are looking for practical ways to take their trade show activities in a more sustainable direction. Going green shouldn’t compromise the user experience or brand positioning.

With some planning and small changes in your custom trade show booths, you can host a greener exhibit that still wows attendees. Here are various universal tips any company can implement to exhibit more sustainably at their next trade show.

Design Reusable Booth Structures:

Most convention centers now have strict rules around booth building materials to reduce waste. A smart long-term strategy is investing in a customizable, modular exhibit system made from durable, climate-controlled materials. This type of booths can be assembled, stored, and reused for many years of shows.

Many 30×30 booth design are offering storage and shipping of standardized booths between events to slash carbon footprints versus single-use builds. Many builders have their walls, counters, and structures are also made from recyclable aluminum or bamboo. These initiatives help decreases environmental impact over time.

Source Local Furnishings and Décor:

Most of the time we ship display cases, tables, chairs, lighting, and other accessories from long distances. It is better if we source as many booth components as possible near each convention venue through local rental houses.

Not only does this minimize fuel usage from transportation but eliminates waste from single-use items. Nearby suppliers also offer same-day delivery if items need swapping out during shows.

Utilize Renewable Energy:

Major convention centers today offer various green power initiatives to help attendees decrease their carbon footprint. Ask your general services contractor or show organizers about available renewable energy options. Efforts like these have measurable positive impacts on the environment at shows.

Pursue Digital Collateral:

Save trees by moving away from print brochures, flyers, and handouts whenever possible. Instead of printing copies provide all collateral like brochure, product info, and spec sheets as digital flipbooks or on a screen in your display for trade show.

Digital goes greener while allowing for easy updates versus physical collaterals.  

Source Sustainable Giveaways:

Giveaways encourage attendees to visit your booth but typical corporate tchotchkes like plastic water bottles or knickknacks end up in the trash. Replace these with sustainable gifts that leave a better impression like reusable stainless steel bottles, bamboo utensils, natural fiber tote bags, or even donation-matching gift cards from green brands.

Opt for Biodegradable Packaging:

When shipping booth packages, utilize fully recyclable or compostable protective materials. Opt for compostable shipping boxes versus Styrofoam when possible. Clearly label all materials with recycling instructions so none end up in landfills.

On-site, serve refreshments with biodegradable or compostable service ware over plastics. Small steps keep non-renewable waste out of the waste stream.

Go Digital with Lead Retrieval:

Most modern exhibit display companies for lead retrieval systems let attendees digitally scan their badges into an online profile via an event mobile app or kiosk interface versus paper business cards.

Digital cards auto-populate contact details which are instantly emailed after the show to qualify leads faster. It eliminates wasting paper, spending hours manually entering cards, and misplacing some. Plus, attendees receive follow-ups better when information is clearly captured digitally versus scribbled cards difficult to decipher later.

Recycle On-Site:

Provide clearly marked recycling, e-waste, and compost bins at your booth along with informational signage explaining what goes where. Work with facility management to ensure all materials are properly sorted after the show via their recycling programs.

On-site separation enhances your booth’s green image. Attendees will feel inclined to also responsibly dispose of bottles, food containers, and other items on the show floor with your lead.

Measure Eco Performance:

Establish baseline waste, energy, and emissions metrics by working with venues to record before and after show footprints. Track you each and every activity to make a track record of your initiatives.

This quantifies achievements to sponsors, clients, and prospects. Also survey your attendees about their event experience with your green features.

In Summary –

trade show exhibits offer huge potential to influence industry peers via simple green booth designs. With upstream planning and universal adoption of eco-conscious strategies from booth building to lead generation, any exhibitor can leave shows with energized attendee experiences plus measurable sustainability wins for their sustainability goals. Going green by exhibit display companies enhances brands while preserving natural resources.

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