Monday Feb 5th, These days, being eco-friendly matters. More and more people -and businesses- understand that sustainability is important in terms of protecting the planet. It can also be great for sales as many buyers will preferentially support businesses that have strong “green” principles and stand by them.

Of course, this should extend to making eco-friendly trade show displays as well. Trade shows are somewhat notorious for being excessive. Being able to say that your own booth is sustainable and good for the planet can be a considerable bragging point!

Here at Best Displays & Graphics, we’re happy to help our clients find eco-friendly solutions at their own trade booths. These are some of our favorite tips.

Six Ways to Maintain Your Green Cred with Eco-Friendly Trade Show Displays

1- Reuse, Recycle, Re-purpose

This is good advice no matter how your company feels about ecological issues: Don’t buy trade show hardware without a plan for how to reuse it after the show. Most of your trade show items, such as banner stands and tables and display cases, can be re-purposed. Often, all it needs is a little forethought. For example, we recently built some custom shelves for a client where the dimensions were dictated by the size of their offices. The shelves get used over a weekend in the trade show, then become semi-permanent fixtures in their showroom.

This is a truly excellent way to improve your ROI on trade show elements while benefiting the planet by reducing waste.

2- Rent What You Can’t Reuse

Why pay to own something if you can’t make good use of it? While there will be exceptions, particularly if something needs to be custom-branded, there’s a lot of equipment at a trade show which can be rented to save money. Most furniture, for example. If you aren’t going to take the chairs home with you, find a way to rent them locally.

Speaking of which:

3- Source as Much as Possible Locally

If you’re going to be attending trade shows across the country -or the continent- try to reduce the amount of stuff you’re hauling around. The majority of trade show materials can be sourced locally. That’s good for the local economy, and it will also significantly reduce the amount of fuel used for transporting your materials. The more you can get locally, the more you’ll save overall.

4- Invest in Modular Display Pieces

Try to avoid having pre-made custom designs, when it’s possible. There are plenty of “kit” style trade show booth products – such as Fabframe or Blueprint systems – which are designed to snap together in a wide variety of configurations. These are a great investment for companies attending a lot of trade shows because a booth made of Fabframe or Blueprint can be easily re-designed to fit different spaces. There’s no need to commission new designs or buy new parts. Just rearrange what’s already there.

When properly maintained, such a kit system can generally be good for years. At most, you just need to periodically buy new graphics to layer over the framework.

5- Reduce the Use of Paper Products

It’s easy to go overboard with paper at a trade show, and much of that paper will just end up in trash cans. Look to invest primarily -or exclusively- in paperless systems for distributing your flyers and other materials. Use email, or set them up for reading on tablets, or even hand out pre-configured USB thumb drives at the show. At least a thumb drive is reusable, and guests will probably hang onto it.

6- Focus on Renewable/Recyclable Products

When you do need custom work done, try to avoid harmful base materials. Most plastics, for example, might theoretically be recyclable, but they generally require so much energy to recycle that it defeats the purpose. On the other hand, bamboo is rapidly growing in popularity as a building material even outside Asia because it’s ridiculously renewable.

Need More Tips for Eco-Friendly Trade Show Displays?

Best Displays & Graphics is here to help! Contact us for a consultation on your next project.