When we visit exhibitions and trade shows we often find ourselves studying the stands & hall as much as the exhibits themselves. Out of hundreds of exhibitors & an energy drenched venue, there are often only a handful of green stands to be seen.
Certainly not what's expected in an age when companies are reportedly increasingly dedicated to environmental sustainability!
Historically incredibly wasteful, the exhibition industry no longer has any excuse not to ‘green up’. Surely the time has come for green design methodology, techniques & practices to become standard?
Interest in Green exhibiting options among exhibitors & suppliers is high & growing. So, if you’re marketing director in charge of an exhibition programme wanting to improve your company’s environmental performance, how should you brief your exhibition design agency?
Follow our Sustainable 7!
1 Keep it simple
Sustainability can’t be an after-thought. It has to be integral to the design process right from concept stage. Is each component valid? Ask for a design that uses as few materials & components as possible - less is definitely more! Simplicity delivers greater focus & impact.
2 Design to last
Reuse is key. So components need to be constructed using durable materials to prolong lifespan. You also want your exhibition stand to be modular so that components can be reconfigured for use at a number of events - both green & cost-effective.
And when you no longer need your stand? Why not look for other companies or associations in your locality, such as schools or colleges, who would happily give your stand a new lease of life?
3 Materials of choice
Request a stand built from recycled plastics, FSC & reclaimed timber or rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo, hemp & straw. Another option is FSC & formaldehyde-free MDF, manufactured using 100% recycled or recovered wood fibres.
Reduce or do away with vast quantities of printed marketing brochures & leaflets, but for any necessary printing & graphics make sure that vegetable-based inks are specified and printed on to highest percentage recycled material, whether paper, plastic or fabric.
4 Time to switch
Lighting is an energy hog! Select energy-efficient LED lights however and you can reduce the amount of power your stand consumes by as much as 90 percent!
Opt for organic paint, varnishes & adhesives or ones that are low or no-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). For floor finishes try bamboo (check resins), cork, sisal or even recycled rubber - all are comparatively harmless set against traditional carpeting.
6 Lose weight!
Transport is another good reason for adhering to the eco ethic that less is more. Lowering the weight and size of stand components that need to be transported will have a huge impact on reducing carbon footprint - & cost you less to boot.
7 Stay local
Have your green exhibition stand components manufactured & stored close to the show sites, wherever possible. Not only will this enable you to reduce the need for shipping, saving on cost & CO2 emissions, but it allows you to boost local economies.
A final thought...
When we talk about sustainability, we mean social & economic sustainability as well as environmental. If you follow green design principles & develop green practices, then the social & economic sustainability follows? They’re intrinsically linked.
Exhibiting will never be carbon neutral, but much of the waste in the industry can be reduced.
If you'd like any further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.