5 Ways to a Greener Trade Show Exhibit

Overhead view of people at a large trade show or expo

Want a Greener Trade Show? Here’s How

Trade shows have earned the reputation for being rough on the environment. Basically, this is rooted in the disposable nature of trade shows. Many companies exhibit in one or two shows a year and materials used to construct the booth, displays, signs and furniture may only be used for those one or two shows. The rest is left in the convention hall where it is picked up and carted off to a landfill. Things don’t have to be like this! As our CMO, Shane Shirley explained in a recent guest post for TSNN, there are ways to make your trade show exhibit green.

  1. Opt for Recycled Materials Whenever Possible – Utilizing items made from recycled content keeps trash out of landfills. When purchasing framing, decor, furniture and paper for business cards, brochures and catalogs look for materials with a high recycled content. If you can’t find recycled options also look for materials that are FSC certified, ensuring the natural resources used to manufacture the products were managed in an eco manner.
  2. Reduce Waste – Purchase durable items with the plan to reuse them year after year, or plan to find different uses for them after the trade show, like maybe as new furniture or decor for your office. Reusing displays and furniture ensures you get more value out of these purchases and again will keep items out of landfills. If for whatever reason you are unable to find a new use for an item, make sure to dispose of it properly and in an environmentally responsible fashion.
  3. Prevent Pollution – Make sure any materials used, like adhesives, paints or other solvents are free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Not only is this a smart and green move for your booth, but it also benefits your staff and all of the folks who visit your booth.
  4. Lightweight Your Booth – Pay attention to the weight of the items in your booth. By keeping the weight of your displays down this means less fuel will be needed to transport your crates. This translates into less carbon emissions, and it will keep your freight expenses down.
  5. Even Your Swag Can Be Green – Takeaways are a way to instill your branding message and remind people who visited your booth about your company long after the show is over. You want your takeaway to embody your branding and if you choose an item that is made from recycled or sustainable materials and is reusable, like a customized bag or a branded water bottle you will reduce your brand’s environmental footprint and align with your company’s green goals.

Going green is a constant evolution and even if you incorporate just one of these tips into planning your next trade show, that will have a significant impact. Ultimately, try to be aware of the materials you use, what you do with those materials after the trade show is over, transportation of items to and from the show and your branded takeaways. All of these factors contribute to the greenness of your trade show exhibit.


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