Trade shows are a great way for your business to demonstrate how committed you are to improving your green credentials, and with a little careful planning, your booth could be a star attraction. From setting up your booth to dealing with any waste afterwards, it’s essential to act responsibly; but it could also be a good time for you to inject some fresh ideas and innovations into your exhibits, which could add significant weight to the green cause.
Everything from the materials you use in setting up your kiosk, to the promotional items you distribute – and even any food and drink you serve – can all speak volumes about your business’s dedication to lowering its environmental impact. And with today’s consumer actively seeking responsibility from the businesses they deal with, can you afford to overlook this important area?
Top Tips for an Environmentally Friendly Booth
Start as you mean to go on
Kiosks or booths are fast becoming a main focus of trade show organisers as a really easy way to showcase their environmental responsibility impress your visitors by choosing materials that are made from sustainable sources, and know all you can about the materials used you may well be asked questions by your visitors. Trade shows in the US are now looking at using bamboo and other natural sources for use at kiosks and booths in trade shows this could be a good talking point, and could create plenty of new interest amongst the people you meet at the show.
Editor’s Note: You may find our article on Recycled and Low Energy Options for your trade show displays helpful (follow the link to read full article).
Talking to suppliers about sustainable sources can also help to raise awareness, and remember that supply is borne out of demand i.e. the more you ask for something from a supplier, the more eager he will be to supply it.
Choose Low Energy Lighting
Lighting your booth is another area where you can offset the impact of your business on the environment. By using LED bulbs to light up your displays, you will be using a staggering 94% less energy than the standard lighting that trade show organisers usually supply – plus, you can take the bulbs with you after the show, for future use.
Don’t forget about the paper and ink you use too – trade shows are often the places where massive amounts of paper are used in the printing of leaflets that often go unread, and sometimes end up in the recycling bin. Look for inks that contain low VOCs (volatile organic compounds) to be sure that your promotional materials are as eco-friendly as they can be.
Thinking outside of the box?
If you’re looking to give your booth a twist of innovation, try demonstrating how reusing various things already to hand can make people stop to find out more about what your business is doing and what it’s trying to say – cardboard boxes can often be sturdy enough to act as display tables for certain items, and can create a certain atmosphere depending on what you are exhibiting. You’ll want as many people as possible to stop by your booth, so make your most prominent display say something about the theme of your business, for example, if you’ve produced the most effective and reliable permanent filter for a coffee machine, try stacking a huge pile of paper filters next to your single product for maximum impact. And remember, once a couple of people have gathered to take an interest in your display, plenty more will follow.
Zero waste policy
Little freebies and give-away items are quite popular at trade shows, and you don’t have to go to great lengths to seek out the most environmentally friendly versions of what you used to give out before instead, try a completely new angle for your promotional items, which could bring a breath of fresh air to your business.
Make your freebie handouts an example of your commitment to sustainability by giving out plants and flowering bulbs that people can take away and keep for much longer than they would a pen or a note pad. Bags for life bearing your company’s logo will also be received well try a twist on a theme by, for example, reusing coffee bean sacks to make bags that bear the logo of your coffee accessories business. And why not go one further by serving Fairly Traded coffee at your booth? All of these ideas make great talking points, which help to develop ideas even further.
At the end of the show there will be the buzz of getting tidied up and cleared away but what about the trash that nobody wants? All those promotional leaflets and discarded freebies won’t look good swirling around in the street outside! Pop a few recycling boxes or tubs outside your booth, and show that you mean business by dealing with any waste responsibly. You could even ask people to return items to you that they don’t really want you might be able to use them again.
This is a guest post from Ian Wright who writes for solar PV installer The Eco Experts in the UK. He has a passion for solar energy and all things green.