If your graphics business works with trade show exhibits, you’ll likely find that your clients will appreciate it if you can help them find ways to make their exhibit more eco-friendly. Be sure your sales team has a list of ideas they can use during sales presentations to show potential customers. It will further enhance your role as an expert and a partner that’s looking out for their needs.
Obviously you want to include all the appropriate substrates, stands, etc., that you carry that are eco-friendly. But more importantly-because this goes above and beyond what is expected and sets you apart from your competition with a value-add-you should include other suppliers or ideas that will also help make their trade show booth greener. Here are just a few ideas you should have on your list:
Can the booth be designed with reuse in mind?-Could part or most of the exhibit be used for more than one show, or more than one year? We recently produced life size “standees” of people, who were holding a blank white sign made of magnetic receptive material. The standee itself was going to be used multiple times, but the sign could be changed as needed, simply by printing and applying different magnetic signs. This greatly reduces waste, and you might even find that the signs will work in multiple instances.
Is renting any part of the booth an option?-Renting means the materials get more than one use and if a customer plans to change layouts frequently, renting means less in the trash. If you rent stands or booths, list what is available. If you don’t rent, supply some contacts of businesses in your area who do.
Can you use substrates with recycled content or that can be recycled?-Be sure to list all the different options your shop provides and their best uses.
Can you find hardware that is greener?-LED lights, bamboo banner stands, aluminum frames, recycled rubber or jute rugs can have less environmental impact and are often lighter to ship. List what you have or provide a list of suppliers.
Can you use low or non-VOC products for finishes? Look for low-VOC paints, varnishes and adhesives.
Can it be printed on fabric?-Fabric is starting to become the go-to material at trade shows. It’s much lighter than many other options, which saves on energy and cost of shipping. This reduces the “carbon footprint” of the booth because shipping is typically one of the biggest causes of largest carbon output when exhibiting. You can also encourage customers to search “carbon neutral shipping” or list options of companies offering carbon off-sets for the shipping of packages.
Can all or part of the booth be resold or donated to a local charity?-If you stock used displays you could buy back the booth and sell it to someone else, giving it another use and keeping it out of the waste stream. Or, you can suggest your client donates anything it no longer wants to a local charity. If you want to give a top customer a stand out value-add, agree to donate the print for the donated banner stand or booth.
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