Environmentally friendly trade show ideas

5 Environmentally Friendly Trade Show Booth Ideas

That Are Good For The Planet

This Earth Day, join the movement to create more environmentally friendly trade shows! It’s time to reduce waste and make a difference. Here are five ways to positively impact the environment while exhibiting.

Being mindful of our environmental footprint is both good for planet and good for business. The good news is that we have the opportunity to make more eco-friendly choices than ever before. And, businesses are stepping up to their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint in everything they do – including trade shows.

The idea of an environmentally friendly trade show sounds like an impossible goal. Trade shows are notorious for their wastefulness, with events often generating tons of trash and using large amounts of energy. However, exhibiting at a trade show while being kind to the environment is possible.

Here are five environmentally friendly trade show booth ideas to consider for your next event.

Our favorite tips

  • Make eco-friendly choices
  • Reuse and recycle
  • Reduce waste
  • Skip the swag
  • Make requests

1. Make Eco-Friendly Choices

The choices you make while designing and building an exhibit can have significant consequences for the environment. It starts with materials selection, but also includes careful consideration about how those choices impact transportation costs.

Choosing eco-friendly building materials does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. Each environmentally friendly decision you make is a win for the planet. Consider using recycled material where possible, especially for those components that you know may have a shorter useful life. There are numerous options for fabric graphics today, including SustainaTex Ocean, an SEG fabric made of 100% up-cycled ocean plastic.

Signage is another area where you can be more environmentally friendly. If your messaging changes from one event to the next, digital signage is a great option. It is easier to update and means fewer printed graphics in the trash.

Lightweight materials, such as aluminum and fabric are also ultimately more eco-friendly. They reduce the total weight of your booth, saving you money on shipping and reducing fuel consumption in transporting your assets.

2. Reuse and Recycle

Avoid the “build-and-burn” model when possible. If you are not familiar with this term, it refers to building a booth and using it only one time. Owning or renting reusable components helps reduce the amount of trash generated while improving your bottom line. Our design team is expert at upcycling assets to make them look brand new and designing booths that fit multiple footprints.

At the end of their useful lives, ask your exhibit house if they can recycle any of your assets. At Neu Concepts, we separate and recycle fabric, carpet, metal frames and AV equipment. While this does require a bit more effort, it means far less materials end up in the dumpster. When possible, we also donate booth furniture and decor items to organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

Eco-Friendly Exhibit Design
Eco-friendly options for trade shows

3. Reduce Waste

Trade shows generate a lot of paper waste, with exhibitors handing out flyers, brochures, and other printed materials. Most of those materials never even make it home with attendees. Consider digital alternatives, such as QR codes or interactive displays that allow attendees to receive the information they want via email.

Food and catering at events can also contribute to a tremendous amount of waste. Single-use plastics represent the opposite of being environmentally friendly. Encourage your booth staff to use reusable water bottles instead. A branded water cooler in your exhibit can make refilling a breeze.

When ordering catering, look for options served in eco-friendly packaging that can be reused or composted. Another option to consider is leftover food. In many cities, local food pantries are happy to accept the food.

4. Skip the Swag

Swag is quickly falling out of favor with both trade show exhibitors and attendees. Many of these giveaways are cheaply made and end up in landfills shortly after the show closes. Consider buying fewer, high quality items for your VIP guests or using a giveaway model where visitors can enter to win.

Another popular alternative is to make donations on behalf of your visitors. You can design interactive experiences where your visitors actually choose between several options.

If you really want to give out some sort of swag, consider products that are good for the environment. Examples include wildflower seeds or quality refillable water bottles, like the ones made by Fill it Forward.

Trade Show Recycling

5. Make Requests

Challenge your vendors to offer eco-friendly options. Many will rise to the occasion. Contact suppliers and event organizers and ask about their environmental impact and sustainable solutions. It’s a great way to demonstrate that your company values the environment and factors them into your decisions.

Implementing these environmentally friendly trade show strategies can help you begin to reduce your carbon footprint. Often, we struggle to take the first step, thinking the idea of achieving zero waste is impossible. Every eco friendly decision you make, no matter how small, is good for the planet. In addition to protecting the environment, it shows your customers that you genuinely care.