“Going green” is more than just a passing fad. As we learn more and more about the impact of our activities on the planet and the species that share it with us, it becomes more apparent that we must make significant strides to reduce the harm and damage we are causing. This applies not just to individuals, but also to businesses – it is part of your corporate responsibility to be a good steward of the planet and its resources. There is a myriad of ways you can begin to do that, but one is the green up your event attendance when it comes to conferences, trade shows, and the like. How might you do that, though?
How will you travel to the event? What about arranging for your signs, banners, and other equipment to be delivered? How will the other team members reach the event? Understand that individual car travel, air travel, and trucking for your tables, signs, and equipment, all create carbon emissions. To help offset where you can, try to use public transport to reach the event and limit travel during the conference. Carpool with your team members if necessary, or consider events that allow virtual attendance via digital devices.
You will need a wide range of supplies for the conference or trade show. These run the gamut from business cards and flyers to brochures and banners. Make sure that these are as reusable as possible. Print items that can be used at more than one conference, rather than creating event-specific printables. Ensure that your signs and banners can be reused time and time again, as well.
Choose green materials and printing methods. Avoid those that render paper products unable to be recycled. For instance, foil can make your printables really stand out from the crowd, but it also means that you cannot recycle the paper. The same thing applies to UV coatings that protect the paper from light-related degradation. Instead, think about opting for dye-free papers, environmentally-friendly inks, and other materials that can be recycled, or that will biodegrade quickly in the environment.
Focus on Digital Promotion
One way to help green up your event attendance is to promote it, not through hardcopy materials, but through digital technology. Creating a blog post or highlighting your event on social media does not fell a single tree (although the energy production required to power digital devices is another story).
The Right Giveaways
In addition to travel arrangements, supplies, and materials, you also need to pay attention to the giveaway items that you use. Promotional items are affordable, but that does not mean that they must be damaging to the planet. You’ll find a broad range of eco-friendly promotional products out there that can help reduce the impact of your business activities on the planet. What are some of the options available? Look for items made with bamboo, which is one of the most renewable materials on the planet. Notebooks made with recycled paper, and pens made with recycled plastic – these are just a few of the items that can help you build your brand while sparing the planet.
Pay Attention to the Venue
Finally, make sure that you’re vetting the venues that host industry events. What do they do to limit energy and water use and waste? What do they do in terms of waste management? How does the venue limit its environmental impact? Is there access to sustainable supplies and caterers?
Ultimately, you can build your brand at trade shows and conferences while still protecting the environment. The tips and steps above will help ensure that you’re able to improve brand traction while doing your part to protect the planet.