This Week in Exhibit Industry News – Earth Day Edition

This weekend marks the 42nd annual celebration of Earth Day. And while the trade show industry has been a bit slow to get on the bandwagon, there are many shows that have made serious strides toward becoming more green.

One of the most impressive examples of a show going green is also one of the largest in the U.S. — the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The 2012 CES took a multi-faceted approach, collecting a record amount of materials to recycle and repurpose (totaling about 75 percent of the show’s materials). Those items included:

  • More than 20,000 pounds of magnetic banners
  • 28,600 square feet of vinyl banners
  • 16,000 square feet of other show signs and materials
  • Nearly 50,000 pounds of show publications

But you don’t have to be a major show producer to make a difference. One electrician at the Monterey Conference Center in California decided he’d seen enough pallets full of waste at one trade show after another. So Robert Morris started Pass It On Please, an organization that distributes the leftover items to schools and senior groups, as well as to the Persian Gulf and Mexico. He’s currently seeking non-profit status so he can afford to get a bigger storage space for the pens, notepads, t-shirts, hand sanitizers, and other items. For more information (and to read letters from some very grateful schools), visit the Pass It On Please website. <This link has been reported as questionable, so we’ve removed it.>

One of the biggest ways to make an impact (and simplest) is to reduce the amount of plastic bottles that end up in landfills. We all know that trade shows are an environment where lots of water is consumed, and with good reason. But there are a number of ways we can all work toward reducing the waste. Tom Bowman, AKA “Mr. Green,” shares some options in this column. And while you’re there, scan through the archives for more of his tips on making graphics more sustainable and putting together an RFP for a greener booth. Together we can all make a big difference!

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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.


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