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How green can your trade show go?


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Today’s post is from guest blogger Lew Hoff, President of Bartizan Connects.  In addition to these thoughts on recycling, Lew has also written about energy saving at trade shows which is worth a read.

There are many questions surrounding the organization and management of trade shows and similar events. These functions can be huge and operate at a frenzied pace for every minute the floor is open to attendees. This means organizers of such shows should be prepared with a unique set of skills tailored to the fact that all of their efforts will be rewarded or thwarted over that short time frame, which is unlike nearly any other business model.

What Can Be Recycled?
One of the consequences of only being open for a few days is that a huge amount of material may end up discarded once a show has run its course. The Associated Press recently focused on the huge Consumer Electronics Show. This year’s iteration recently wrapped up in Las Vegas, and the source noted that Freeman, the production company that staged the event, is actively interested in finding new homes for the physical infrastructure components instead of throwing them out.

According to the AP, this year’s total waste prevention was impressive. Instead of letting signs and banners end up in landfills, many of them were recycled – Freeman Communications and Strategic Relationship Senior Vice President Jeff Joseph put the number at 108,000 square feet. Many materials were also reused in other ways, such as construction components given to Habitat for Humanity and carpet stored up for next year’s show.

Green Trade Show Etiquette
It’s important to remember that there are many ways to go green, not just recycling. TSNN contributor Shane Shirley recently explained some priorities organizers should set in advance if they want their shows to have less damaging environmental impacts. She stated, for example, that it pays to begin with solid ideas of how much the show can accomplish. If organizers decide in advance what type of carbon and energy use is OK, they will be able to tune their performance to match those targets.

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