How your business can help create a more sustainable exhibition and events industry  

Climate Change is a hot topic this year, and we all need to do our bit on a personal and a business level. Every small change that one person or business makes that is a positive step towards protecting the environment, or doing less damage to it, adds up. A million businesses making one tiny change each will have a major impact. The events and conferencing industry could and should do better in terms of how sustainable our practices are. For example, conferences are responsible for rather a lot of single-use, or throw away items and we all need to be aware of how we’re contributing to waste.

Being more sustainable in your business doesn’t necessarily mean heavily investing in recycling or car charging facilities, it can be as simple as having a company-wide policy in place to put environmental impact at the forefront of your team’s minds when they plan procurement, travel, events and marketing activity. Here are some ways that your sales and marketing team can contribute to a more sustainable events industry?

Consider more earth-friendly promotional products

Promo products are a good way to advertise your business and draw people to a conversation at your stand but choose carefully. Reusable thermal mugs or water bottles sound like an environmentally friendly gift, but only if they’re good quality. Most eco-conscious professionals like to use smart metal water bottles or insulated cups, so cheaper branded plastic cups are just as likely to be throw away as pens and coasters. Invest in good quality promo products made from recycled or recyclable materials such as bamboo, and they’ll last longer and promote your brand for longer whilst showing that your brand cares about quality too.

Consider staff travel arrangements

If you’re sending a team to a conference, think about the impact of the travel. Although public transport can be expensive and unreliable at times, and it’s easier to travel by car, could you encourage your team to travel together, or hire a minibus and make a fun journey of it? You could take it one step further and try hiring an eco-friendly vehicle as a talking point – how about a bus running on used cooking oil or an electric limo?

Create a reusable, adaptable stand with hardwearing, eco-friendly materials

When you’re planning your trade show stands, plan for longevity and adaptability. A stand made of good quality material could be reused at many events rather than flimsy banners and folding stands that often get damaged after one use. Our team can help you create modular stands that can be used indoors and out, and even adapted to different pitch sizes. If limiting the use of solvents is part of your environmental plan too, we can help source paints, glues, interiors, etc that help you respect this goal.

Consider print vs digital material

Marketing automation tools make it easy to send your customers all of your brochures and leaflets instantaneously when they’re at your stand. Clever apps can capture data and send tailored messages to your customers’ phones live at the event, meaning the messaging can be more personal. Consider whether you really need to print thousands of leaflets, vouchers or plastic loyalty cards; there’s always a digital alternative and these are often a better investment as you can track how your customers interact with the marketing material too.

How are Sovereign Exhibitions helping to make the exhibition and events industry more sustainable?

We are always making small changes in our business wherever possible to reduce our carbon footprint. One of the main ways we do this is by choosing to work with very local suppliers, and where possible utilising our own in-house skills and workshop space, to avoid unnecessary travel and shipping. We’re always on the lookout too for new stand materials that can create the flexible, high-quality finish we need with less impact on the environment than more traditional materials.

If you’d like to create an eco-friendly exhibition stand as a feature for your next trade show, get in touch with our sales team.