First things first; exhibition generate a ton of waste of every year, and this needs to be dealt with. You can’t really eliminate the trash, but reducing it is very much a possibility. Do your bit, and go green at the next event that you are organizing. Here’s how you can go about it:
Tell them that their pamphlets and brochures will most likely turn up in the trash anyway; the consumers can’t be expected to take home hoards of paper, right? They’ll prefer something digital – the exhibitors can post digital versions of their catalogs on your website rather than getting these printed. The attendees can be directed to the site, where they can flip through these catalogs of their own accord. And if the exhibitors have to use paper, suggest that they rather go with a recycled one, or better still, they can seed-embedded paper. The mere idea of going home and planting pamphlets and postcards made of these paper in small pots will give the visitors another reason to line up at the exhibition booth that’s giving them away.
Seed-embedded papers and LED lights? Small steps make a difference
In this day and age, knowledge is readily available, and when at the disposal of the visitors, it can make or break the exhibitors’ impression. For instance, if the attendees see the use of fluorescent or incandescent lighting, they’ll fret, thinking of all the energy cost (up to 95%) that could have been saved with LED lighting. Similarly, while giving away water bottles is a good idea, especially if the exhibitors are counting on them for lead generation after the event, ask them to refrain from using plastic. Stainless steel bottles are a much better option – they are less likely to be thrown away and the visitors won’t be worried about the harmful health effects of BPA and everything bad that the mainstream media associates with plastic bottles.
Show green to go green
With the visitors sparing just 8-10 seconds of their time before they walk past a booth, the exhibitors have to send across a (loud and) clear message. Their booths should “look” green. Making it a mandate may drive away some of the exhibitors, but as an organizer, you can always reward the ones using a plant-fibre canvas instead of the conventional wall coverings. They may also be encouraged to put up labeled bins, either right in front or at least in close proximity to their booth so that the visitors don’t unknowingly turn the exhibition venue into a landfill on their way out.
Giveaways that the nature would love
The exhibitors can replace the commonly used plastic ink pens with the compostable ones. Now these are not recyclable per se but are much better than the plastic pens that are often made using nylon, polypropylene and other such materials. Giving away non-woven tote bags is also worth a shot; the exhibitors can still display their logo or use them for advertising, but in a rather environment-friendly way.
The exhibitors need not make big changes; a couple of small steps should suffice. If they are socially responsible, the visitors will take notice.