Coming out of the pandemic, I knew that we’d likely have new trends developing in the industry. One trend that has been consistent with many companies coming back has been a request for green, sustainable options. This isn’t necessarily new, when I started out in 2011 most of our vendors had familiarized themselves with the buzzwords and some sustainable product lines were produced. Truthfully though, except for the major corporations with purchasing initiatives, the demand for green products largely took a backseat to cheaper alternatives and had mostly dried up pre-pandemic. Now we’re seeing demand from companies of all sizes, and growing supply to support it.
The elephant in the room is the trade show/live event industry can be very wasteful, it is the nature of temporary spaces and exhibitions. In a lot of ways though, the demand for options with cheaper freight, quicker setup/takedown, modularity in size and general reusability has created a much greener industry. Just perhaps doing so under different labels. Lightweight aluminum framing is used to make structures in place of wood, steel and the truss systems of old. Fabric graphics replaced rigid panels, laminates and plywood. Tool-less display systems and collapsible displays have drastically cut down on labor and associated materials as well. Easily replaceable graphics and modular display frames allow today’s displays to be reused and repurposed easily. LED lighting has also been huge to cut down on energy consumption, and is almost unanimously used for lighting displays at this point.
In addition to an industry that has naturally gone under an overhaul of sustainability, certain products have been developed and are being developed to further speak to the green movement. Recycled aluminums, plastics and even fabrics are being used, and in my experience have not lost any quality compared to their counterparts made from unused raw materials. Where wood is still nice to have (counters, accents, etc.) bamboo can typically be found. Low VOC adhesives and paints are also being used. I anticipate this category will expand rapidly with the current demand so stay tuned for new innovations!
Thinking of going green for your next project? Take a look at the sampling below of some sustainable options, or contact us to come up with the best way to go green in your event program!
Here are some green lines we can have currently:
- Larger green exhibits (10×10 – Island)
- Small tension-fabric displays
- Table Drapes
- Retractable Bannerstands