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Sustainable exhibition stands: benefits, features and pointers from industry pros

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We’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth saying again: A sustainable exhibition stand is the way forward at trade shows for several reasons. Some of those reasons are obvious, others not so much.

Whether you have Corporate Social Initiative prerequisites to tick off or bottom lines to satisfy, going green with eco-friendly display stands is a no-brainer.

We’ve outlined the features and benefits of a genuinely sustainable exhibition stand and a few pointers from industry pros with a combined 50 years in the business (us).

Finally, we’ll briefly discuss the DON’Ts of exhibition stand designs. After all, knowing what not to do is a sure-fire way to start knowing what to do!

Our standout features of a genuinely sustainable exhibition stand

Commitment to innovation and offsetting carbon emissions

Identify exhibitors that constantly innovate their design process and find practical ways to offset their carbon emissions, making a more sustainable exhibition stand.

Suppose your priority is a long-term sustainable solution in the fight against deforestation. In that case, anybody with a sustainable exhibition stand will share those goals and likely be vocal and upfront about them, too.

Planting trees for every completed exhibition stand project is just one (pretty impressive) example.

Exhibition stands made from reusable materials

We aren’t talking cheap recycled cardboard or hemp products, but genuine quality materials that can be used repeatedly for an eco-friendly display.

Modular displays are built to be redesigned to suit their purpose. Buying them is less costly because the equipment is reused for the next exhibition stand.

They also give you the option of reusing interchangeable fabric graphics at your stand, which is one of the most sustainable materials.

A commitment to net zero

Eco-friendly display stands require more minor modes of transport which don’t pollute the environment.

They are produced using clean-process, eco-friendly construction methods that reduce your carbon footprint, making them eco-friendly.

Stand materials that are easy to break down and reconfigure

System exhibition stands, to use a rudimentary analogy, are like Lego for grown men. You can clip aluminium pieces together and create any shapes for your exhibition display.

A huge benefit of using aluminium is that it’s reusable and, therefore, sustainable.

Types of eco-friendly display stands you’ll see at trade shows and why we like them:

Modular stands are:

  • It is much easier to transport than custom-built exhibition display stands.
  • Reusable many times over and therefore more sustainable and eco-friendly.
  • Cost-effective, system-built solutions for those on the B2B space.

Benefits of sustainability

Where do we begin? Having a sustainable stand ticks so many boxes that it feels like the only option at this point:

  • Save vast amounts on the costs of materials.
  • Less waste and carbon emissions.
  • Eco-friendly practices across the board contribute to achieving your CSI goals.
  • Reusable products mean that you have less planning to do.

Pro pointers from exhibition industry experts

If you’re attending a few exhibitions in quick succession, here are a few things you can do to offset your carbon footprint vastly:

  • Advise your suppliers well ahead of time.
  • Detail those suppliers in the supply chain to produce exhibition stands made of reusable materials.
  • Provide your suppliers with a breakdown of your CSI and carbon offsetting goals and priorities at the project’s outset.
  • Prescribe the building of custom modular structures for the stand design or eco-friendly exhibition.
  • Encourage evergreen concepts within your design team.
  • Tell your suppliers how many people will travel to and from an event.
  • Use LED lighting at your exhibition stand as it’s more energy efficient.
  • Use sustainable stand materials and eco-friendly products at your exhibition stand wherever possible in the construction phase. Some companies use Xanita board, an environmentally friendly material made from recyclable cardboard.
  • Don’t forget about flooring! The floors in your exhibition space should also be made from recyclable material.
  • Offer giveaways to visitors at your exhibition stand, but ensure they’re made of bamboo or something else that can be recycled.
  • Go digital and remove all paper from your stand to save costs and be more sustainable, or use recycled materials.
  • Prioritising people, the planet and the environment is the only long-term solution.

These pointers require just a little bit of strategic planning and forethought, and they can yield rich results for you and your company.

DON’Ts of sustainability

Just as crucial as the DOs are the DON’Ts.

  • DON’T utilise single-use plastics. These are not environmentally friendly.
  • DON’T print paper when you have digital alternatives available to you.
  • DON’T transport exhibition stand elements in multiple vehicles that you petrol when you have green alternatives.
  • DON’T employ any services or practices that waste energy. Think of all the elements.

Final eco-friendly thoughts

There’s no question that there has been an increased focus on sustainability and environmentally conscious efforts, extending to the exhibition and stand-building industry. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Sustainable exhibition stand displays are becoming more critical as businesses and organisations strive to reduce their carbon footprint.

Organisers are starting to put their environmental terms as a prerequisite.

When planning an exhibition or stand, please consider the environmental impact of all the materials you use.

Sustainable materials such as wood, bamboo, and recycled plastic are becoming increasingly popular for their durability, cost-effectiveness, and low environmental impact.

Wood is a renewable resource, making it one of the most sustainable building choices available, and it can create a great environment.

Timber is also one of the most versatile, as it can be used for various structures. Bamboo is another renewable resource becoming increasingly popular due to its strength, durability, and low environmental impact.

Bamboo is also known for its ability to proliferate, making it an ideal choice for sustainable materials.

Recycled plastic is another excellent option for exhibition and stand-building materials.

Plastic has a long lifespan and is highly durable, making it an excellent choice for many structures. Many companies use recycled plastic to create sturdy, stylish, sustainable stands and displays.

When it comes to sustainability, no material is perfect. That’s why it’s essential to consider the environmental impact of each material before making a decision and one of the reasons why we provide all exhibitors a carbon offset for every event and business.

By carefully considering the sustainability of your materials, you can ensure that your exhibition or stand is as environmentally friendly as possible.

Events like trade shows and exhibitions are powerful communication tools you should harness for your business.

Where else can you mix with industry peers who share your visions and buy into your brand strategy?

Your exhibition and stand design must communicate the values that you hold dear. Potential customers may feel the same.

More sustainability in business means a more sustainable, eco-friendly world with less waste.

Check out the home page on our website, which showcases our work in the UK, Americas and Africa, as well as our commitment to green practices in the environment.

Patrick Wells
Founder & CEO, Booth Exhibits™
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