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  • ETMG Social Media Team

10 Tips For Eco-Friendly Trade Shows and Events


Trade shows, events, and conferences can be very hard on the environment with all the paper, printing processes, giveaways, shipping materials, fuel usage and booth construction materials. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly options that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.


1. Partner with vendors who are committed to conducting a green certified business. Green Certified businesses use materials and practices to protect, preserve and sustain our environment.


2. Reduce paper waste by limiting the total volume of paper. Instead of handing out printed brochures, white papers, etc., hand out a business card-size document with just the URL’s where the participant can find your collateral online. Direct attendee to event related information on their Smartphone’s using a QR Code.


3. When possible, have your attendees fill out surveys online, instead of distributing paper versions. Nowadays many companies create a “survey station”with several tablets for attendees to use for short surveys before they leave.


4. Work with a print broker to locate green printing options for your banners, collateral, and signage. They can point you towards environmentally friendly paper options, soy inks instead of petroleum-based inks and printing processes that substantially reduce waste and use renewable energy resources.


5. Think about your giveaway and if it really has value outside of your branding. Is it just a novelty that will find its way into the garbage, or will it have a functional or decorative use that will outlast the event? Consider the size and location of your logo on objects—that can mean the difference between an item that is used over time or tossed after the show. A tidy little logo on the upper left quadrant of a shirt is usually more wearable than a huge graphic over the entire front.


6. There are many great green giveaways that are made with organic, recycled, biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally safe processes and materials. Have a giveaway distributor on your side to help you find these.


7. Use and reuse environmentally safe packaging and shipping materials. There are now many biodegradable and recycled content options that allow you to safely pack your materials and then use them again for the next event.


8. Consider having your printing projects produced at a print shop close to the event and delivered by courier. For materials that can’t be produced near the event, plan ahead and use ground shipping instead of air shipping. Air shipping pours 8 times more carbon emissions into the environment than ground shipping.


9. Use Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) lumber, plywood and sheet goods in your booth construction. The FSC is committed to responsible management of the world’s forests, and promotes the use of sustainable wood products.


10. Promote your green practices: More and more people are interested in having greener options and working with environmentally sensitive companies. It only takes an extra line of eco-friendly ink to explain how a collateral piece was printed, or to indicate the green materials and processes in your giveaways.


Further Reading:


10 Tips for Planning Your Next Promotional Giveaway Campaign