Traditionally, exhibitions have had the reputation of not being eco-friendly. They draw together exhibitors, stands and visitors from across the world racking up their carbon footprint, and they are perceived to create a lot of waste. However, they are now becoming ‘greener’ as a result of modern stand design, efforts to utilise recyclable or sustainably resourced materials, and the employment of a vast array of other eco-friendly initiatives. These developments not only help protect the environment, but they are good for business; they cut costs and make great PR.
Exhibition stands were nearly always built for one event only. However, durable and adjustable stands are regularly now constructed for a series of events. They are often built using a modular based or bespoke ‘kit’ system with a high degree of finish, such as ours, which allows components to slot together in a multitude of ways creating a fresh look for minimal cost with just a tweak here and there. These stands also tend to be cheaper to transport as they require smaller vehicles and cost less to store.
The choice of materials can go a long way to increase the ‘green’ credentials of your exhibition stand. These include materials which are:
- Natural or responsibly sourced such as our wood from Accoya
- Easily re-used or recycled such as aluminium
- Made from recycled materials themselves
- Locally produced
- Low on toxins or do not have toxic finishes
You can also consider the use of eco-friendly construction materials including organic compound-free adhesives or water-based paints.
On the Stand
The use of eco-friendly materials doesn’t have to stop at the construction of the stand itself. You can also look to other components including laying carpet tiles which can be reused at your next event or recyclable mixed fibre/cord carpets.
You can also still create striking effects with the use of low-energy lighting and light dispersing fabrics which reduce power consumption, heat gain and UV from light sources, and you can benefit from only having to re-lamp every 10-15 years.
Wherever possible, utilise digital gadgetry on your stand rather than traditional printed marketing materials which often end up in the bin. In addition to cutting your costs and increasing your eco-friendly credentials, this will help you draw a crowd and enable you to stand out from your competitors. From the use of screens detailing technical information or a scannable QR code within your stand graphics linking to a pdf of your brochure, through to tablets taking you directly to a visitor’s inbox whilst you chat or the provision of CDs/USBs packed with sales particulars, the possibilities are numerous.
Technology is also now available for user-friendly lead capture systems that will save you time, reduce inconvenience to your visitors, and enable you to contact prospects by email/post on your return to the office with ease.
If you still require some form of printed material, opt for a brief teaser flier –printed on recycled or sustainable forest certified paper stock – with a scannable QR code which links to more detailed information on your website.
Regardless of the technology you choose to utilise on your stand, make sure you switch off equipment when it’s not in use and turn off all screens/computers at the end of each day, both of which can reduce wasted energy by up to 50%.
Choose Like-Minded Suppliers
In addition to choosing local suppliers – which can save on the transportation of materials and people – you can also consider their ‘fit’ with your company’s eco-friendly objectives. You can enquire about their recycling policy, what they do with their waste, whether they reuse packaging, if they use ‘green’ materials, whether they have a carbon offset scheme, and/or what steps they have taken to minimise their CO2 footprint.
Waste Not, Want Not
As well as attempting to reduce your stand waste before you even leave the office, most venues now provide skips for the disposal of the remaining recyclable materials and packaging. You can also support your eco-friendly objectives by minimising the packaging required for any of the products you are displaying/selling from your stand, any refreshments you are offering your visitors, and any freebies you are giving away. Ensure it is also all recyclable or compostable and, if the venue does not offer recycling facilities for visitors themselves, consider providing your own clearly labelled bins. This will all help reduce carbon emissions and minimise landfill.
Transport or travel can account for a large proportion of your carbon footprint. Staying within walking distance of the exhibition or sharing cars will not only reduce fuel costs and your carbon footprint, but your parking charges too.
Additionally, if you can successfully reduce the amount and size of the materials you use within your stand or use a bespoke ‘kit’ system, you’ll be able to use a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle. You could store the stand centrally reducing overall mileage on average for events across the country and they are then available for other organisational offices/branches.
Shout about it!
The majority of potential customers and visitors are keen to support ‘green’ organisations. Make sure you talk about your efforts to go ‘green’. It enhances your reputation and highlights that you care about more than your bottom line.
Sometimes the grass is ‘greener’ on the other side…
Your exhibition stand is a good place to kick off or develop your efforts to become eco-friendly. A good supplier will work with you on your choice of design, materials, and logistics to help you achieve your ‘green’ objectives for your exhibition stand without reducing impact. The added bonus is that you also cut your costs!
Whether designing the interior of a shop, crafting office fittings, or creating a bespoke exhibition stand, R.S. Sets not only captures the imagination, but helps clients meet their environmental aspirations. Talk to us today about how we can showcase your brand with spectacular, eco-friendly bespoke stands on tel: 01420 590 611, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at: www.rssets.com.
Pic: R.S. Sets designed Joseph Joseph a ‘kit system’ with a high degree of finish so the same stand could be utilised for 3 different shows in 3 weeks