10 Tips for Going Green at a Trade Show for an Eco-friendly Event

Did you know that trade shows produce an estimated 600,000 tons of trash every year, as reported by Trade Show News Network?

The average material waste of an attendee is 3.5 lbs and only 26% of that waste is recycled. Further, when considering the carbon emissions of transportation to tradeshows, food waste, and booth materials, according to MeetingsNet, the environmental impact of trade shows is staggering.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to reduce your impact at trade shows.

Here are 10 eco-friendly event ideas to reduce your environmental impact at your next Las Vegas trade show.

Consider Renting

Renting can reduce your environmental impact significantly. When you rent, you eliminate the need to purchase trade show materials like flooring, furniture, signage, and other displays that are eventually thrown away.

Rented items are reused, reducing the waste of multiple exhibitors. Renting also helps reduce the emissions created by transporting your trade show materials to the location.

Further, many trade show rental places offer eco-friendly alternatives like energy-efficient lighting systems.

Hire Locally

One of the biggest contributors to the environmental damage of trade shows is the emissions from flying.

Rather than flying out multiple team members, which can also get very costly, hire trade show professionals locally.

Trade show professionals can staff your booth and help represent your products. There are assistants, models, and presenters available for hire. You can also hire them for creative services like photography and videography.

Hiring locally can help you offset damaging carbon emissions from travel.

Two women standing next to a white car at a trade show.

Work With Local Vendors

Rather than having your trade show marketing materials made and then shipped, work with a local vendor for eco-friendly event ideas.

Local vendors, especially in places that host a lot of trade shows like Las Vegas, have a lot of insider knowledge which can be very helpful. You can rent booths, signage, and other displays from local vendors.

You can also buy swag and other branded materials locally. This solution doubles your impact because it reduces both shipping to your business and transit to the trade show.

Choose An Alternative To Paper Brochures

Most people do not keep the paper materials like brochures and fliers that are handed out at trade shows. So, unfortunately, they usually end up in the trash.

While these are important because they help companies showcase their products and services they can be a very wasteful marketing tactic.

Luckily, there are eco-friendly alternatives through digital technology. Instead of handing out brochures, you can use a QR code to pull up a digital brochure or your website. You can also collect emails to send your digital brochure as well.

Use Digital Signage

Digital signage is a very effective means to reduce waste. Instead of printing and disposing of new signage every year, digital signage can be redesigned.

Signs that uses LED technology is especially environmentally friendly because it reduces the energy it consumes. Digital signage can be used for headers, bollard signs, walls, and so much more.

Work with a trade show booth designer to find the right digital signage options for your exhibits.

Offer Eco-friendly SWAG

Swag and other brand merchandise is both an effective way to show appreciation to your customers and to generate new business. Instead of handing out disposable, unwanted swag, opt for eco-friendly options instead such as:

● Reusable bags like tote bags or drawstring gym bags
● Sustainable drink-ware like reusable water bottles or glass beer mugs
● Refillable pens made with recycled materials
● Green apparel made with recycled or sustainable fibers like t-shirts, socks, and hats
● Notebooks made from recycled paper

All of these options can be made in your brand colors and branded with your logo and tagline. They are also high-quality and memorable gifts that will help build a positive and lasting brand impact.

Further, anything you have left over you can donate rather than ship home which also reduces your carbon emissions.

Reusable water bottle, metal straw, cloth reusable bag and bamboo utensils.

Use Energy Efficient Lighting

Lighting design can make a booth stand out. Unfortunately, when you add a lot of lighting to a trade show booth you consume a lot of energy. This is costly to both your trade show budget and the environment.

However, you do not have to give up great lighting. Instead, opt for energy-efficient lighting like LEDs and CFLs for your booth. This will significantly reduce your lighting consumption.

Further, you may also be able to do even more extravagant lighting displays as the cost of running LEDs is very cheap.

Offer Recycling and Composting

At your booth, offer guests the opportunity to recycle and compost their waste. It is pretty simple to set up these systems. You will just need to coordinate with local waste management or the trade show manager for disposal and pick up or delivery.

This has the secondary benefit of attracting guests to your booth by providing an important service. It shows that your business is responsible and cares about its customers’ needs and the planet.

Avoid Single-use Plastics

When you are at a trade show, it’s easy to use a lot of single-use plastic. From plastic bags to plastic utensils to plastic bottles, single-use plastic can add up.

Instead, provide your trade show team with things like bamboo utensils, reusable water bottles, and reusable shopping bags. This will help them opt out of single-use plastic.

If you plan on feeding guests, consider eco-friendly event ideas like renting dish-ware and utensils from a local rental company or investing in sustainable options.

Row of tall plants at a trade show event.

Decorate Your Booth With Plants

Making a visual impact with your booth can be very environmentally taxing. However, if you incorporate the right materials, you can support the environment.

A great example is to use plants for your trade show booth decor. Plants can be used to design any kind of visual impact you are looking to make. Plants are fully sustainable because they can be easily grown and replenished.

For trade shows, plants are typically rented which makes them even more sustainable. Further, they help clean the air and make your booth feel very inviting.

Making your next trade show more environmentally friendly is easy with Expo Ease.

Expo Ease is a local vendor that can help you make your Las Vegas trade show more sustainable with eco-friendly event ideas.

We help with plant rental, trade show staffing, and provide photography and videography services. Contact us to learn more about our eco-friendly trade show services and rentals.

Peter Frigeri

Horticulturist. Entrepreneur. Eco-adventurer. Peter Frigeri has been innovating in business since he moved to Las Vegas in 1991 to run trade show operations for Showtime Florists. Just a couple years later, he went out on his own, founding Falcon Floral, and within five years, he evolved that business into Expo Ease. In 2000 he took advantage of technological innovations to expand his company to offer a full suite of event services, from show decor to photography marketing. Meanwhile, in 2009, Peter launched his third business, Gaia Flowers Plants Gifts. With a focus on local and sustainably-grown products, Gaia is also a full-service company, with services ranging from event floral, delivery to commercial plant maintenance. And as if that weren’t enough, Peter is an officer on the boards of two local nonprofits, Great Basin Permaculture and Friends of Gold Butte. In both his personal and professional lives, Peter does everything he can to fight for the preservation of the Earth and its resources, so that his children and grandchildren can enjoy its bounty as much as he does.

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