Weekly Insights: Why Going Green Matters

Graphic: © Digital Juice

Occasionally I still have an exhibitor ask why they should make the effort to be more environmentally-friendly in their exhibiting. It always leaves me scratching my head … how can anyone not see why this matters?

Recently I saw a post on LinkedIn with a shocking picture of a post-show convention center somewhere in Asia. As the author says, it looks like the aftermath of a bomb blast! (You really need to to see that photo to believe it!)

After nearly a half-century of Earth Day events (to be held this year in 192 countries), it seems like some people still don’t get it: we only have one planet to live on. We can’t let the trash take over!

Traditionally trade shows have gotten a bad reputation for being wasteful, and that photo proves there is truth to that – at least in some instances. Thankfully, here in the U.S., a lot of convention centers, show organizers, and exhibitors are doing their part to minimize the effects on the planet.

And the argument that going green is more expensive? That doesn’t hold up anymore. There are so many options for sustainability, both before, during and after shows.

  • Reduce waste at all stages.
  • Reuse items from the show (both exhibitors and show organizers).
  • Recycle both in and out.

And while I won’t go into detail here, I am providing links to previous posts and podcast interviews that share a wealth of ideas for where you can begin. It’s time to finally end trade shows’ long-lived reputation of abusing the planet!

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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.


  1. By Mary Klida

    • By Marlys Arnold

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