It’s no secret that trade shows have come under some criticism as of late for generating a lot of waste and not being so friendly to the environment. But, the truth is that it certainly doesn’t have to be this way. And shifting towards a more sustainable trade show does not mean compromising all of the amazing things that these shows have to offer, or watering down the impressive exhibition design that is often on display.
In fact, there are some very simple and easy ways to quickly improve the sustainability of trade shows today. On the other hand, there are also some goals which will take time and effort to achieve. But, let’s start with the easy stuff and move on to the longer term sustainability later.
One of the biggest issues with trade shows in terms of their sustainability is the amount of paper waste that they often generate. Tons of pamphlets, flyers, handouts, signs etc. are typically thrown out at a trade show. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to significantly reduce this waste today. First off, trade shows should have recycling facilities and containers which are just as ubiquitous as trash cans and they should make an effort to get the companies who are exhibiting to sign on to an agreement to only use recycled (and recyclable) materials.
Another major cause of trade show sustainability concerns is the amount of energy that trade shows typically use. Now, part of this is simply due to the sheer scale of many of these larger expos but regardless of this fact, trade show organizers should make an effort to reduce energy use just as exhibit designers can favor exhibition design that integrates more energy efficient lighting. As much as possible the energy used should also be provided by sustainable sources such as solar and wind.
In the end if sincere efforts are made towards these goals, there is no reason why the trade show industry can’t become a more sustainable and environmentally friendly industry. In fact, there’s no reason why it can’t become a model for other industries to follow.