Go Green at Trade Shows With These 5 TipsWith all of the company and product literature that gets printed out and thrown away at green trade shows, as well as other wasteful items you feel will give you a better shot at the event for reaching consumers and generating leads, it s hard to believe that the trade show industry as a whole can ever become eco-friendly. The truth is that in a study by Statista, 27 percent of respondents said they didn t believe zero-waste exhibiting was an attainable goal, while 55 percent were unsure. That leaves only 18 percent of respondents who said they did believe exhibiting could be a zero-waste industry.

In today s technology-driven world, there are gadgets and apps available that will reduce your carbon footprint at events and will keep wastes to a minimum. Become an eco-friendly exhibitor by following these 5 simple tips.


1. It All Starts With Your Booth

As you begin shopping for the perfect custom display for your needs, take a good look at the materials it is made from. Some booths are made entirely out of recyclable materials, such as a variety of pop up displays. Ask for the help of your show booth designer because, if they truly do believe in creating green exhibits, they will be happy to tell you which ones to look for.

2. Go Digital

Social media and the Internet have helped considerably in allowing businesses to promote their products or services for little to no money. Not to mention that it will also reduce the amount of printed materials you need to use to promote your booth. Prior to the big show, reach out to your fellow tweeters and Facebook fans to give them a heads up about the event, where they can find your booth, and what day to mark their calendars for. Don t forget to use relevant hash tags to reach a larger audience.

During the trade show, instead of handing out brochures, show attendees your company s website or digital copies of your business s literature by using tablets, smart phones, or laptops. Also, consider getting their email address so that you can send them a copy of the link or information while at the trade show.

3. Use Lead Generation Software

Some exhibitors prefer to print off hundreds of lead generation forms to capture every potential customer s contact information, job description, etc. There are two problems with this; first, it is extremely wasteful to print off so many forms that will end up in the trash at some point, and second, there s a good chance one or two forms will get lost at some point during the event. Save some trees by opting to use lead generation software. This software will allow attendees to type in all of their information, while saving it in a database for safekeeping. You could also send the form directly to your sales or marketing department in order to easily follow up with them.

4. Hand Out Eco-Friendly Giveaways

Giveaways that can be used on a daily basis and are made from recyclable materials will convey the message that you care about the environment, which will give them a positive impression on your company. Some popular choices are reusable shopping bags and recyclable pens.

5. Go Green When Following up

One of my favorite methods of following up are handwritten notes because it shows the potential consumer that time was taken out of your busy schedule to write a personalized note to them. Thank you cards or post cards made out of eco-friendly materials can be purchased for a low price, yet will make a huge difference on the amount of wastes accumulated. If you want to avoid paper altogether, follow up emails or social media messages can also be effective. However, if you are planning on sending emails, make sure the recipient is aware of it. Otherwise, the message could get lost in their junk folder or deleted before reading.


The trade show industry has come a long way over the past decade and will continue to evolve as new apps or software are introduced. These five ideas should give you an excellent head start on making the industry as a whole a little greener.