7 Ways to Make Your Next Trade Show Appearance More Eco-Friendly

Last Updated: September 10, 2023


There is growing pressure on the trade show and conference industry to make events more eco-friendly. Consumers (including millennials) are demanding event professionals make the effort to reduce waste and avoid the use of materials harmful to the environment. From eco-friendly lighting to avoiding food waste in cafeterias and food courts, today’s conference attendees want more sustainable choices from exhibitors.

If you plan to use trade shows as part of your company’s overall marketing strategy this year, the following are seven ways you can make your next trade show appearance more eco-friendly.

1) Consider using biodegradable materials for your signage or making signage out of materials that are already made from recycled content. Pay special attention to the paint and graphics used on signage to ensure there are no toxic materials being used.

2) Use recyclable paper in the handouts you offer in your trade show booth. Print on both sides of the paper to get more bang for your buck and use printer inks that aren’t harmful to the environment. Whenever possible, offer information via email, text, or QR code instead of on paper.

3) Don’t use more packaging than necessary. If you must offer packaging, try giving booth attendees their items in an environmentally-friendly reusable tote bag.

4) Offer recycling bins near your trade show booth (or ask conference organizers to do so). Make sure bins are clearly labeled for paper products, bottles/cans, and food waste only. Make it easy for trade show attendees to assist in your efforts to offer an eco-smart trade show booth.

5) If your company offers trade show swag, make sure the items you offer are made from sustainable products. From cardboard to recycled cotton, there are a number of sustainable product options available. Work with a trade show supplier who happily offers clients eco-friendly options.

6) Trade show display booths can also be made from sustainable materials. From recycled aluminum and bamboo to eco-friendly glass, there are a growing number of planet-friendly materials available to those in the conference and trade show industries.

7) Don’t use multiple vehicles to transport your trade show materials to the convention center. Organize your trip ahead of time to ensure your team uses as few vehicles as possible to set up and take down your trade show booth. Consider rewarding your team for taking public transit to trade shows.

The more effort you put into making your trade show appearances eco-friendly, the less harm you’ll be doing to the planet. If every trade show organizer and attendee do their part to reduce the global impact of trade shows, the more eco-conscious the industry will become.

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