Making your business more environmentally friendly isn’t as easy as just recycling and buying eco-friendly products. Many business practices that you might not think of as being wasteful can actually have a huge effect on the environment.
From logistics to marketing, many aspects of running a business produce massive amounts of carbon dioxide and everyday waste. While PDFs and Skype calls might have made ordinary office life greener, other business practices aren’t so clean.
While it might seem silly to make your trade show presence more green and eco-friendly, doing so is a great choice. From banner stands to logistics to electricity, trade shows can have a surprisingly significant environmental impact.
What impact does a trade show have on the environment?
With almost every aspect of modern business moving online, trade shows are very interesting outliers. They’re completely offline, entirely in person, and dependent on a massive amount of travel and corporate logistics.
As a form of marketing, they couldn’t be less 21st century. Despite this, trade shows are successful not in spite of their technological shortcomings but because of them: in a business environment where everything is online – from sales to support – it’s a refreshing, enjoyable and productive experience to talk with people face to face.
Still, it’s hard to deny the environmental impact of trade shows. From the amount of carbon produced by tens of thousands of people travelling to and from the event to the massive amount of electricity used during a show, the average trade show isn’t as green as we might like it to be.
With the right strategy, outlook and technology, however, it’s possible to make trade shows far greener than they currently are. Use these five tactics the next time you’re exhibiting at a trade show to downsize your carbon footprint and make your exhibition more eco-friendly.
Use a modular display that you can reconfigure and reuse
Just like recycling your bottles and cans reduces your environmental impact, using a modular display system that you can reconfigure and reuse significantly reduces the amount of waste you generate every time you exhibit at a trade show.
Modular displays are made of several interlocking components that you can remove, reconfigure and replace when required. This way, a single modular display can last for several years of trade shows and events.
Instead of buying an entirely new display for each major event, you can simply add new components to your modular display system and remove anything that’s out of date or unsuitable for your latest event.
Work with suppliers that use eco-friendly supplies and materials
Not every supplier uses eco-friendly supplies and materials. New technologies such as latex based printing ink are more environmentally friendly than standard dye and solvent-based inks but still retain the high durability of solvent-based inks and the print quality of dye based inks.
Similarly, the materials used to build trade show displays aren’t always eco-friendly or sustainable. Choose suppliers that use latex printers and inks, and biodegradable PVC, recyclable PVC or fabrics to build their trade show displays.
The most eco-friendly option is to hire an aluminium exhibition stand, as all the elements can be re-used for different shows, and eventually recycled.
Reduce your carbon footprint using LED lighting
Old-fashioned artificial lighting can use an incredible amount of electricity when it’s left on during a trade show. Replace your incandescent bulbs with LED lights to cut your energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint.
Does your trade show display use large monitors or TVs? Switch from plasma TVs to LED and you’ll reduce your electricity consumption to a third of what it used to be.
Work with one supplier to keep logistics simple
The logistics of attending a trade show can have a big impact on the environment. As well as transporting your staff to the event, you’ll need to move display systems and technology before the show.
There’s also the ordering process to consider. If you buy your display from one firm and your printed materials from another, you’ll use twice as much fuel transporting it all to your office before the show.
Keep things simple and environmentally friendly at the same time. Use one supplier for all of your trade show displays and you’ll enjoy the simplicity of working with a single company and the environmental benefits of quick and simple logistics.