Green Trade Shows: The Future of Trade Shows Is Here
August 6, 2013
Historically, the events and trade show industry has not been a friend to the environment. Many believe that going green is just not feasible for large events. Think of the energy required to moving and powering thousands of pounds of display equipment. Imagine the mountain of disposable novelty and convenience items hauled in for attendees. Think of the all the paper for registration and orientation materials for presenters!
Controlling the environmental footprint of such events is possible, but takes a strategic, conscientious approach. The 2012 London Olympic Games stand as strong evidence of the potential to implement sustainable event practices on a very large scale.
London was the first “green” Olympics, at least since the Ancient Greeks organized it. The Games passed the rigorous ISO 20121 standards, which were created to improve sustainability in the events industry.
Going eco-friendly isn’t going to be a differentiator for much longer. Rather, it’s fast becoming an imperative. Individual exhibitors can take a big step towards sustainability, on their own steam, by investing in a durable, repurposed trade show booth that piques interest, and saves “green” by conserving resources.
A shipping container has a 20–year life span before it is decommissioned and enters the “used” market for resale. More than 700,000 shipping containers are left to brokers the US every year, waiting in shipyards to be reused. Once rescued by companies like Boxman, these incredibly durable containers can be modified to meet a brand’s needs and convey its message.
Built-in, Onsite, Secure Storage
Shipping container exhibits provide presenters with a place to store materials, such as personal and team items, from show-to-show. These assets might be disposed of or written off with traditionally transported exhibits, rather than hauled from venue to venue. Containers can be secured, transported, and set up again, with fixtures and some materials in place. You don’t have to waste time, money or additional resources. You also save on drayage.
Digital options replace paper newsletters, coupons and fliers. They also draw crowds; people love to play with gadgets at a trade show. Show customers online catalogues on tablets and mounted screens. Connect over their mobile phones. Ask them to tweet in exchange for contest entry. Let them access your Wi-Fi to check out a website. Sign them up for e-news. Invite them to post pictures. These strategies cut back on paper waste, and generate a powerful buzz that reverberates across web along social media feeds.
By reconfiguring a shipping container with sustainability in mind, a stunning exhibit with low-energy requirements can be created. Vertical cutouts allow for natural light and ventilation; solar panels can provide the power; bamboo flooring imparts a sophisticated, completely sustainable flair; reusing materials and assets from show to keeps waste to a minimum. These and many other ideas can be implemented in versatile shipping container displays.
There are endless ways to make your trade show venues more environmentally friendly. It is not only possible in the trade show world; it is happening right now. How can you get green?