Earth Day Edition: Sustainability at Trade Shows

Sue Tinnish

Sue Tinnish

Trade shows unfortunately have a reputation of producing massive amounts of waste, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Guest expert Dr. Sue Tinnish, Dean of the Kendall College School of Hospitality Management, shares simple steps exhibitors can take to be more sustainable while also inspiring their vendors and partners to follow suit. Some topics covered include:

  • What is APEX and what are the APEX/ASTM International Standards?
  • How exhibitors, suppliers and venues can work together to change behavior
  • Where to begin developing your company’s environmental policy for trade shows
  • Why it’s important for the exhibit industry to be proactive
  • What’s on the horizon for trade show sustainability

Dr. Tinnish is an industry thought leader in green meetings and events, having served as chair of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) committee that established the APEX/ASTM International Standards for environmentally sustainable meetings and events and also as the U.S. Chair for the International Standards Organization (ISO) effort to develop a worldwide sustainable events management system. She can be reached at her website,

Here are some additional resources about the APEX Standards discussed in this episode:

Think Green Displays has also published a summary of APEX Standards that includes a glossary and additional resources.

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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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