Exhibitions and trade fairs are jolly, cool, and effective aspects of product marketing. However, you can’t deny the fact that most of the exhibits are distinctly wasteful.
At a time where the world has to deal with the effects of global warming, exhibitors can’t afford to use non-recyclable items such as nylon shrink lamps and obsolete booth components in exhibitions.
You can play your small role in saving our planet by reducing the waste products, and overall carbon footprint in your exhibits through the following ways:
Green Booths and Signage Design
It is costly to redesign or recreate your booth and signage every time you move to a new space. One way to build sustainable exhibits is by using modular booths, which are prefabricated structures that are flexible and interchangeable, and can be adjusted to suit various designs and conditions.
You may also ask your floor provider for recyclable left-over construction materials such as wood and metal planks, which you can use to make booths. Alternatively, you can experiment with other green materials, such as biodegradable polystyrene and FSC certified wood.
For signage, save up a few extra bucks for electronic signs, particularly the LED signs, which are not only green, but also easy to look at. To be sure about the sustainability, look for an Energy Star sticker on every electronic equipment before purchasing.
Aim for Small Reductions in Waste
Flyers, brochures and pamphlets are common in trade fairs and exhibitions. Unfortunately, most of these items often end up in dust bins and on the streets.
Additionally, these items promote deforestation, as they’re made from paper. A greener and more sustainable alternative would be a QR code which booth visitors can scan to access more information on your business.
You are also advised to avoid cheap plastic products since they are non-biodegradable, and have a short lifespan. More sustainable options would be bamboo straws, glass bottles, and reusable tote bags.
Sell or Give Away Old Booths
When you outgrow your exhibition space, or want to move to a new city, it makes no sense to ship out all your materials. The best option is to look for a trade-in credit deal with your manufacturer, or sell the materials to other exhibitors.
Remember the 3 R’s
As you go about choosing materials for your exhibition, be sure to analyze their suitability according to the 3 R’s of sustainability as follows:
- Reduce – Ideal products should be lightweight and in smaller units to reduce the carbon footprint and shipping emissions.
- Re-Use – Only build your booths with materials that can be reused or remade into other products after you’re done with them. You may choose to rent customizable booths and materials instead of buying, and then disposing them later.
- Recycle – Build your booths and stalls with recyclable materials to not only reduce physical waste products, but to also minimize carbon emissions. Recommended materials include cardboard, metal, hard plastics, and electronics. If and where necessary, avoid plastic wraps, paper plates and napkins, and styrofoam.