5 Ways to Make Your Trade Show Giveaways Eco-friendly

October 18, 2015

Shane Shirley

Shane Shirley is CMO for SBS Brands, a 90-year-old global brand leader focused on creating digital and print business solutions that offers traditional and eco-friendly customized promotional products to accelerate trade show marketing.

Tradeshow takeaways are proven to leave an impression with your customers and if done right they can even drive traffic to your booth, so giveaways are a necessary marketing tool. Getting branded gear in your customer’s hands will definitely increase your brand awareness and recognition, but they are also an opportunity to reinforce your company’s stance on environmental issues.

1.       Choose Something Reusable. Opting to print your branding on something reusable is good for the planet because it eliminates the need for disposable items. Giving your customers a stainless-steel reusable water bottle will reduce the amount of disposable water bottles your customers use. Reusable marketing tools are also a good move for your brand, because your customers will be faced with your marketing message each and every time they use your trade show giveaway.

2.       Select Recycled or Sustainable Materials. When thinking about going eco with promo items, the components of your takeaway are also significant. Using recycled materials uses existing materials and eliminates the need to use virgin resources to create more material. Creating a pen made from recycled plastics or printing marketing handouts on recycled paper reduces the need for the creation of new plastic and paper. Sustainable materials are made from natural plant fibers, so think reusable bags made from cotton or jute fabric.

3.       Go Digital. Load a digital version of your latest catalog and brochures onto a portable flash drive made with recycled materials and hand that out. Your customers will be able to view digital versions of your marketing items on their computers, and when they’re done they can delete your files and reuse your branded flash drive to store their own digital data.

4.       Give Greenery. You can order plants form the expo company you are working with to hand out but plants may be a bit of a hassle for both exhibitors and attendees to transport, so why not consider printing brochures or other printouts on seed paper. The unique texture will leave an impression and when your customers get home they can  plant your marketing item in the ground or in a planter and what the seeds embedded in the paper sprout. Since the paper safely breaks down and the resulting plants will convert CO2, a greenhouse gas, into breathable oxygen seed paper is an incredibly eco-friendly takeaway.

5.       Include Instructions to Dispose of Your Giveaway. Even a well-made reusable takeaway will wear out eventually, so make sure your customers know how to dispose of your takeaway in an eco-friendly manner. Items made from recycled materials can be recycled again and items made from sustainable materials can oftentimes be composted or recycled or they can be landfilled because they will safely breakdown. Have the instructions printed on the item whether it be the chasing arrows recycling logo or written instructions.

There are so many ways you can create a memorable, effective and eco-friendly marketing tool to hand out at your next trade show. It just makes sense. Feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on LinkedIn if you have any questions about going eco with your promotional products. I am always happy to answer any questions you  may have. 

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