Some ideas on how Exhibitors can be more sustainable at our events
- Inspire the sustainable development of your industry by promoting your company’s and your products’ sustainability credentials
- Go paperless where possible. Use digital tools and platforms for marketing, promotions, and sales. QR codes are one example
- Use 100% recycled / FSC certified paper for any marketing or sales material you require to have printed on your stand. Or even better capture attendee details and email marketing/sales material to them live at the event
- Limit promotional products and giveaways on your stand. Can you utilise more sustainable materials, products, or packaging? Look at offering functional and re-useable items (e.g a reusable coffee cup or water bottle). Provide non-plastic bags for give-aways on your stand. Consider FSC certified paper bags or fair trade certified organic cotton bags. Please refer to EXHIBITOR GIVEAWAYS for further details and some ideas on eco-friendly branded items to consider.
- Provide each of your onsite staff with a reusable coffee cup and reusable water bottle for them to use throughout the event
- Power down any equipment on your stand at the end of each day
- Are your suppliers and contractors sustainability conscious? Choose suppliers who are trying to be sustainable. Hire locally where possible
- Consider raising money for a charity on your stand. What’s your cause? A positive PR opportunity
- Re-consider your packaging; consider the materials that you use to package goods brought onsite to the event. Does it have to be foam or one-off plastic or can it be cardboard or a soft plastic that can be used several times for other packaging purposes too?
- Re-use your freight packaging. Do not throw packaging out onsite, instead store it so you can re-use it for pack down and to transport your goods back to your office. Use recycled and/or reusable pallets
- Consolidate your shipments and use logistic companies that have sustainability credentials
- How are your staff getting to the event? Can they catch public transport or walk from their hotel or office (rather than catching a cab)? If they need to use a taxi can they cab share?
- Select accommodation within walking distance of the event
- Pay the carbon offset for your staff flights
- Custom Stand Builds – are you using recyclable materials? Is your stand design reusable – can you use all or part of it at more than one event? Have you looked at stand waste disposal and considered the environment? *Did you know MDF cannot be recycled; what materials are you using? Ask your stand builder about alternative materials to MDF. Use LED lighting only on your stand
Giveaways and merchandise remain as popular as ever as a tool for exhibitors to engage with their potential customers. However, we need to all become more mindful of the impact this has on the environment when it ends up as landfill. More and more companies are looking towards eco-friendly and sustainable ideas that can have a positive impact on the planet.
There is a psychological trigger when you are offered a free item that makes the most rational amongst us lug home unneeded branded water bottles, USB’s, stubby holders, umbrella’s, pens, etc. However, these unneeded items often gather dust until we throw them away, ending up as landfill and producing methane and contaminating soil and water with leachate.
Things for our exhibitors to consider when choosing a sustainable giveaway:
- The lifespan of the item – including the quality. If it is cheaply made it will likely not last very long and end up as landfill.
- Is the item useful? Will your customer want to take the branded item – or will you take most of them back to the office with you after the event.
- Think about the size and placement of your brand on the item – is it the right size for the item you are branding – the aesthetics will help your item appeal to potential customers and make it less likely to end up as landfill.
Below are some eco-friendly ideas exhibitors could consider, to have their brand on something more sustainable:
- Branded Plant kits – sow and grow your own plant for your work desk.
- Seeded paper bags – if you must use a bag make it a seeded paper bag
- Bamboo toothbrush set
- Reusable straw and brush cleaner
- Reusable bamboo cutlery
- Mini solar powered charger
- Bamboo socks
- Branded beeswax wrap
- Eco packaged lollies/sweets – avoid single use individually wrapped items and look for compostable packaging
- Stainless steel clothes pegs in a branded bamboo bag