3 Easy Ways to Green Your Tradeshow Travel

September 14, 2014

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.

Travel can greatly impact the greenness of your tradeshow and is oftentimes overlooked since the actual event tends to garner the most attention and focus in terms of being green, but it doesn’t need to be this way. Here are three ways you can up the green factor regarding your tradeshow travel.

1. Consider Alternative Modes of Transportation. Sometimes air travel is the best option, and if you have to fly book direct flights whenever possible to minimize carbon emissions, but depending on your departure and arrival cities consider other travel options. If your tradeshow is within driving distance consider renting a car or hiring a car service to get staff to the event. You can further increase the greenness by traveling in fuel efficient or alternative fuel vehicles. Trains are another good option and feature a lot of perks like business class cars, free Wi-Fi, outlets to keep your electronics charged and the ability to get up and walk around pretty much whenever you want, and all of this comes in at a much lower price point and with far fewer carbon emissions than air travel.

2. Offset Your Travel. Even if you did your best to minimize the impact of your travels look into offsets upon your return home. Offsets work by compensating for the greenhouse gases created through donating to wind energy, planting trees or other options. The idea is to estimate how much carbon was emitted as a result of your travel and to purchase an offset that counterbalances that amount. Prices range depending on the size of the offset and the type, but NativeEnergy is a great source regarding offsets and can help you get started.

3. Have a Virtual Presence. Webcams and a whole slew of services make it easy for you to sit at your desk, but still communicate and visit with people at a tradeshow or event. This method may be a better idea for additional staff members – you may find it necessary to still send some key people to attend the show in person, but telecommuting makes it possible to have a larger staff presence and still connect with customers, dealers, fellow exhibitors and anyone else who stops by your booth.


A bonus tip: when you arrive at your destination remember to use public transportation as much as possible. Not only is this a green way to get around, but it is also a great way to experience the host city.

You work hard to make your tradeshow a green experience, so follow through and apply this same ideology to your travel plans. With careful planning and consideration you can work in green changes that will help the planet and make your entire show experience green and enjoyable. Do you have tips or tricks to make your tradeshow travel greener?

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enter the characters shown in the image.

Partner Voices

As event professionals and destinations adjust, adapt and evolve in these uncharted waters, it is imperative that substantial resources be put in place for all of the people responsible for planning and executing trade shows, expositions and conventions. An example is Mohegan Sun, which built an industry-leading, COVID-19 Resource Center with a combination of pictures from recently held successful events (the property reopened on May 1, 2020) along with several widely available and informative documents, such as an evolving operational framework: