14 Tips for Eco-Friendly Trade Shows and Events


Trade shows, events, and conferences can be very hard on the environment ­with all the paper, printing processes, giveaways, shipping materials, fuel usage and booth construction materials. Fortunately, there are many eco-friendly options that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.

  1. Partner with vendors who are committed to conducting a green certified business. Green Certified businesses use materials and practices to protect, preserve and sustain our environment.

  3. Reduce paper waste by limiting the total volume of paper. Instead of handing out printed brochures, white papers, etc., hand out a business card-size document with just the URL’s or QR Codes where the participant can find your collateral.

  5. When possible, have your attendees fill out surveys online, instead of distributing paper versions.

  7. Work with a print broker to locate green printing options for your banners, collateral, and signage. They can point you towards environmentally friendly paper options; soy inks instead of petroleum-based inks and printing processes that substantially reduce waste and use renewable energy resources.

  9. Think about your giveaway and if it really has value outside of your branding. Is it just a novelty that will find it’s way into the garbage, or will it have a functional or decorative use that will outlast the event?

  11. There are many great green giveaways that are made with organic, recycled, biodegradable, sustainable and environmentally safe processes and materials. Have a giveaway distributor on your side to help you find these.

  13. Use and reuse environmentally safe packaging and shipping materials. There are now many biodegradable and recycled content options that allow you to safely pack your materials and then use them again for the next event.

  15. Consider having your printing projects produced at a print shop close to the event and delivered by courier. For materials that can’t be produced near the event, plan ahead and use ground shipping instead of air shipping. Air shipping pours 8 times more carbon emissions into the environment than ground shipping.

  17. Use Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) lumber, plywood and sheet goods in your booth construction. The FSC is committed to responsible management of the world’s forests, and promotes the use of sustainable wood products.

  19. Use video in place of printed materials to explain complex concepts.

  21. If your show has a “uniform” consider simply wearing matching polo shirts in place of silk screening or embroidery. Use a name tag.

  23. When printing signage for multiple shows, consider printing direct to substrate so you can print the next shows signs on the back of todays signs. Ecoboard is excellent for this and is 100% recyclable.

  25. Encourage employees attending the event to carpool with each other.

  27. Promote your green practices: More and more people are interested in having greener options and working with environmentally sensitive companies. It only takes an extra line of eco-friendly ink to explain how a collateral piece was printed, or to indicate the green materials and processes in your giveaways.


Further Reading:

The Top 5 Qualities of a Good Giveaway Item

10 Tips for Planning Your Next Promotional Giveaway Campaign

Have a Giveaways Distributor on Your Side

By: ETMG Social Media Team