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How the Exhibition Industry is Going Green(er)


Over the last few years, eco-friendliness and sustainability have become top priorities for businesses in a variety of industries, including the exhibition industry. A lot of new changes are taking place throughout the trade show and event industry to improve conservation efforts and protect the environment.

Discussed below are some specific steps that exhibitors and trade show organizers are taking to make their events more “eco-friendly.” You’ll also find some tips on how you and your team can join them in going green.

Consumer Electronics Show
As one of the largest technology trade shows in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), has a unique responsibility to set an example for eco-friendly behavior. The following are some specific initiatives CES takes to keep the show as clean and green as possible:

  • Recycle and reuse carpet and carpet padding
  • Recycle plastic materials
  • Recycle and reuse all paper-based graphic materials

CES also has a booth donation program that enables exhibitors to donate raw materials, as well as furniture and other products that they don’t want to ship home. These materials get donated to a variety of charitable organizations in Las Vegas (where CES is held each year).

Natural Products Expo
It’s not surprising that the Natural Products Expo (or NPE) cares about all things sustainability and eco-friendliness, from recycling to improving air quality.

In an interview, show director Lacey Gautier explained that NPE expects all partners to operate their businesses in a “sustainable and respectful manner.” NPE also implements the following initiatives to make their events as green as possible:

  • Waste management bins and back-of-house sorting
  • Elimination of unsustainable items like straws and foam core
  • Metrics tracking to monitor waste diversion, as well as water and carbon offsets
  • Accessible exhibitor resources for composting and recycling
  • Donation programs to sustainably get rid of unwanted materials

NPE also offers a kiosk that provides attendees and exhibitors more information on its sustainability initiatives and ideas on how they can improve their efforts moving forward.

SupplySide West
SupplySide West, another Las Vegas-based show, also has plenty of sustainability initiatives in place. Some of the most noteworthy ones include:

  • Elimination of foam core from all show signage
  • Reduction of printed materials
  • Counting remaining print products at the end of each show so appropriate quantities are ordered the next year
  • Reuse of structures, banners, and carpets

SupplySide West also regularly consults with sustainability experts to ensure they’re making wise decisions each year.

How to Make Your Booth or Event More Eco-Friendly
As you can see, if you want to make your next event more environmentally friendly, it’s not enough to just put up a few “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” signs. Here are some additional steps you can take to make your trade show booth or upcoming event a little greener:

Switch Up Booth Materials
When it comes to shipping your booth materials to your next trade show, remember that the way your materials are shipped matters more than their total weight. If possible, use materials that can be tightly packed onto one pallet. This reduces the number of trucks that need to be used to get your booth materials to their final destination.

Use Energy-Efficient Electronics
If you need to use electronics as part of your trade show display or part of your event, look for energy-efficient options whenever possible. The Energy Star logo is a great indicator that you’re moving in the right direction and making the most responsible choices.

Ditch Printed Materials
As much as you can, get rid of printed materials when planning your event or getting ready to attend your next trade show. This includes things like handouts, programs, flyers, business cards, etc. Choose a mobile app or another digital option instead to prevent waste.

Reuse Signage
Instead of printing new signs, reuse your company’s signage for multiple events. In addition to supporting the environment, this saves you from the headache of having to dispose of old signs, and it saves you money since you won’t have to pay for new signs each year. When you do print new signs, leave dates and cities off of them. That way, they can easily be reused.

Travel Nonstop When Possible
If you have to fly to trade shows and exhibitions, try to fly nonstop whenever possible. Airplanes use more fuel (and produce more air pollution) when they climb to altitude compared to when they’re cruising. This means flights with connections are not as good for the environment as direct ones.

Go Green Today
Are you ready to make green exhibiting a priority as we move into the new year? If so, keep the tips listed above in mind and follow the example of big events and trade shows like SupplySide West and CES.

Skyline’s Sustainability Policy
Skyline contributes to environmental sustainability in two ways:

  • By providing lighter weight, modular exhibits that have smaller environmental impact than traditional custom exhibits.
  • By minimizing the impact on the environment from our manufacturing operations.

We believe that investing in higher quality equipment allows us to reduce scrap, waste, and energy consumption – and produce higher quality products. These two facets – lightweight modular exhibits, and more environmentally friendly manufacturing – can be viewed through the lens of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

With these guidelines, you’ll be able to reduce your carbon footprint and help the environment in no time!