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The ‘green’ standard: Tradeshows follow suitemployee

The ‘green’ standard: Trade shows follow suit A study released July 28, 2008, by the Norwalk, Conn.-based Event Marketing Institute shows that producers of trade shows and exhibitions are delivering more sustainable events.Titled “The Green Event Imperative,” EMI’s study showed that 43 percent of surveyed companies have already incorporated green initiatives into their marketing mix, while 37 percent are incorporating sustainable practices into their event marketing “whenever possible.”(1)

What has seemed like a trend appears to be a true cultural shift … and it’s growing. From recycled carpets on the trade show floor to organic muslin booth drapings, trade shows have caught the eco-bug.

We know that sustainability is good for the environment and consumers are asking for it. Whether going green a little or a lot, we invite you to use a few of our ideas to get ahead of the competition:

Light green
Even a little green goes a long way. Try implementing some of these fresh ideas to kick start your green trade show efforts:

  • Go 100% cotton with shirts or bags that showcase your company’s logo. Also consider a “going (or growing) green” logo as part of your corporate apparel – it’s a visual way to tell your consumers that you care about sustainability.
  • Request recycled carpet squares and cotton skirting for your booth area and encourage your trade show organizer to send all your material via e-mail instead of paper.
  • Seek to stay at a hotel as close to the event location as possible and either drink water from glassware or reuse water bottles on the show floor.
  • Consider streamlining transportation to and from the show by having attendees travel together or reduce emissions by driving hybrid and biodiesel-friendly rental vehicles.

Medium green
Interested in being even more eco-friendly? These ideas take you one step further:

  • More than ever before, there are a wide variety of recycled giveaways to choose from. Umbrellas, sports coolers and even ice scrapers come with a green stamp of approval and can be used as part of your booth theme or overall marketing strategy.
  • Transfer your printed promotional material to USB drives and hand those out instead. Not only does it save on paper, but it is easier for convention attendees to carry home.
  • If you are part of the trade show planning team, consider drafting the menu with in-season, locally-produced food items and serve them in biodegradable containers or buffet style. They are not only healthier, but minimize transportation costs for delivery, shipping and waste!


Dark green
And finally, go green all the way.

  • Go the whole 9 yards with banners and signs printed on fabric made from water-based materials that contain no carcinogenic or allergenic materials.
  • Use displays made from bamboo, a sustainable and renewable resource.
  • Send pre-and post-tradeshow mailers on post-consumer recycled paper and soy or corn ink.
  • Rent equipment that you would only normally use a couple times a year instead of purchasing and transporting it to reduce emissions and environmental load.

Regardless of your shade of green, every little bit helps. Go green, and reap the rewards in a healthier, sustainable planet…and create happy customers!

Trade Shows, Convention Centers Going Green; Recycling Stations, Organic Food, Hemp Drapes, Natural Light   By Sandi Cain, Orange County Business Journal Staff and  Darlene Gudea (Excerpted with permission from Trade Show Executive magazine. Gudea is publisher and editor of Trade Show Executive)

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