Best Sustainability Practices for Custom Exhibits

June 25, 2018

Jessica Glenn

Jessica Glenn is the Sustainability Manager at Freeman, where she works to raise awareness and develop best practices for sustainability that make financial sense in light of corporate responsibility goals.

Events are a fantastic way to create buzz for your organization, so when the time comes to plan, make sure your exhibit has the “wow” factor to pull everybody in. 

Custom-built exhibits look impressive but can rack up the costs if you’re not mindful. Once you factor in design time, production, shipping, labor and waste, you’re dinging your budget and the environment. With some strategy and imagination, though, you can create an immersive, custom booth experience that excites attendees while still being environmentally conscious. 

Challenge your team

Get your team and vendors to rise to the challenge of creating a custom feel by reusing elements from previous exhibits. Replacing trim or changing a graphic may be all that’s needed to refresh an old exhibit. This is an excellent opportunity to collaborate, as they’ll likely have a wealth of ideas for updating existing elements instead of starting over.

If you do need to implement fully-customized updates, keep your carbon footprint in mind. Why not add a dash of modern appeal to your old exhibit by replacing older materials with lightweight, recycled materials that use fewer resources?

Consider costs

It's true, added upfront costs associated with lightweight exhibits exist, but the savings realized in shipping and maintenance costs more than make up for it. 

So, if your exhibits are due for an update, why not shed some weight? 

Old-fashioned wood exhibits need constant maintenance between shows and are susceptible to warping. With aluminum and fabric, setup is often faster and you only need to wash it periodically to bring back the original glory.

Also, remember many shipping companies price by weight. Aluminum is lighter than wood, so transporting is less costly and better for the environment. Plus, your sleek, high-tech exhibit will win over attendees show after show.

Build sustainably

When the time comes for a new build, create the booth using sustainable materials. Think about your costs beyond just one show; your organization is no one-trick pony and neither are your exhibits! 

Here are two options to consider:

  • A lightweight event frame can be fitted with brand-specific fabric signage and just a few event-specific elements, giving you maximum versatility and longevity for a minimal footprint. 
  • Custom cut cardboard with direct-print graphics that create a seamless look – think a brick backdrop or custom-cut mountain range. This modern lightweight option is ideal for single-use booths, graphic walls or backdrops, and event structures like registration desks or entry pillars. Plus, the materials are completely recyclable!

Explore the options available so you know what to expect when it’s time to reuse, replace and recycle your old exhibit and its materials. With a green plan in place, you can move strategically toward increased sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The future of events is sustainable. So, by thinking about the environmental and financial costs of your exhibits up front, you can lead the way with a sensational, sustainable booth that creates buzz for your brand and the environment. 

 

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