A Lesson In Anatomy: Green Shows

I compare greening a trade show to learning the anatomy of the human body. When you’re familiar with the most important parts, everything else makes sense.

 To add some green to your next show, here are the three key “parts” to know:

1. Understand what green materials can be used for graphics. 

2. Know types of green materials used for structures.

3. Become familiar with items that can be recycled or used post show.

There are numerous misunderstandings about going green including that it’s expensive. Over the past few years I’ve worked with numerous “green” trade shows. I’m sure you’ve heard of Trade Show Executive Magazine’s “2009 Greenest Show in North America,” International CES.  This year alone we recycled 439,160 lbs and more than 70% of the items from the show. This is a big impact on the environment and not on the budget.

In addition, we recently tackled the “great green challenge” in the production phase of the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.  It’s the world’s largest natural and organic product trade show, so it obviously needed to be the greenest it could be (without breaking the bank).

Here are five ways green happened at the Natural Products Expo West show and an arm or leg wasn’t given in the process (no pun intended):

1. 40,000 sq ft of graphics were produced with Falconboard, which is thinner than BioBoard therefore more cost effective. Taking green to another level, an HP printer was used for all window clings that consisted of not only recyclable material, but water based adhesive. 

2. Muslin drape was implemented in all booths, offering natural material without synthetics.

3.  A LEED compliant material, SkyBlend Particleboard, was used for all counter tops, which had the look exhibitors wanted with a not too shabby price tag.

4. Showcases were created with Eco Wood panels and Plexiglas, which are all reusable and made from materials that can be recycled.

5. Recyclable carpet was used in all carpeted areas.

This event drew a record breaking 56,000 people from across the industry that were all united toward a goal of making a difference for our planet. Now that you know what “parts” are most important in building a greener show, I hope you’ll agree that all of this is way easier than an anatomy test. I’m not going to pretend that making your trade show green is simple, but it can be done. YOU CAN DO IT! Have a story about how your company went green at a show? Share the anatomy of your show with followers on our Facebook!

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