Weekly News & Insights: Raising the Bar

Photo: stock.xchng/Thoursie

Photo: stock.xchng/Thoursie

For years, the trade show industry has gotten a bad reputation for being extremely wasteful and “un-green,” creating mountains of trash before, during and after most any show. Now the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) is out to change that by challenging members to create exhibits that improve sustainability and reduce waste. The Zero Waste Challenge is a competition that will reward those who come up with practical sustainability solutions which set the standard for others in the industry to follow. As a part of the process, a waste audit will be conducted to discover how much trash is generated and how it could be reduced. That alone could help inspire the biggest shift in thinking … once you begin measuring something, you can no longer ignore the results.

And speaking of results … the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) recently released a report based on the What Trade Show Attendees Want from Trade Show Exhibitions study in relation to organization size. It turns out that while organizations of all sizes rank “shopping” as the number one reason they attend shows, their shopping strategy and buying process varies. Their answers regarding how well exhibitors met their needs also vary, with attendees from smaller organizations more likely to be satisfied. To access the report, visit the CEIR site. Two other recent CEIR reports focus on the economic impact of the exhibition industry: attendees spend $44.8 billion and exhibitors spend another $24.5 billion annually.

Next week, the exhibit industry gathers in Las Vegas for the annual EXHIBITOR Show and I’ll be there scouting out ideas and trends for you. (Watch for posts coming later this month.) If you’re attending, I hope to meet you there. I’ll be in the Classic Exhibits booth during Strategic Partner Day hours, and around the show floor all three days. And congratulations go out to our sponsor, Classic Exhibits, who was just named one of the top 50 exhibit fabricators in North America!

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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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