Ben Crossfield

Posted on 8th March 2024
by Ben Crossfield

Your sustainable showcase

How to create a more thoughtful exhibition presence

In an era where sustainability is at the forefront of business strategies, organisations are increasingly seeking ways to make their presence felt without leaving a significant environmental footprint. Exhibitions and trade shows are powerful platforms for businesses to connect with their audience, but they can be associated with the production of single use, unsustainable items. We’re here to shine a light on more sustainable approaches.

Exhibition stands

This is the centrepiece of your presence, and the key objective is longevity! A considered approach can ensure that elements of your display work for many future events and formats;

Modular designs offer maximum flexibility. Check out this market-leading T3 system which has interchangeable components and a patented ‘twist & lock’ action, so no tools are required for assembly. It is also manufactured in the UK. For inspiration on a big scale, using another system, click here to see our work for IPS.

Repurpose hardware for different messages with fabric displays, backwalls and counters. The same tube frames can be dressed in different pull-over fabric graphics, to share multiple, or updated messages. Beyond fabric units, roller banners have been the cornerstone of exhibition resources for many years. A printed graphic is rolled into a cassette and secured in an upright position with a pole. The challenge has been the wastage that comes from artwork becoming outdated, leading to the disposal of entire systems. Fortunately, we can now offer a roller banner system where the rolled graphics are interchangeable. It’s an easy rebranding solution supported by durable hardware, which remains at an economic price point.

Keep your artwork simple. Stands are often discarded because an organisation’s messaging changes. Key investment pieces should create a branded backdrop that avoid details that can readily change. A colour block or big image background in your brand colours will be an impactful starting point, particularly if you consider lightboxes to illuminate your artwork.

Reflect a web address and QR code, rather than lots of social media icons where platforms may change through your choices or theirs, thanks Twitter / X! Time limited messages or campaigns should be reflected in lower investment items made of recyclable materials, such as paper boards or leaflets. (Our design agency oodle can solve these dilemmas for you).

Thoughtful giveaways

A branded gift does not have to be a gimmick, which is all too often a quirky throw-away item. Your brand and investment will have the most reach if you select practical, made to last items that clearly, yet subtly reflect your business name and key contact details.

You will have heard of the phrase, reduce; reuse; recycle. The word ‘refuse’ often precedes this advice! Give your contacts choice, they may not want to take a branded product. If they do, let their legacy of your brand take the form of something that is useful, which is why offering a choice of branded products can be a good tactic.

Refuse reduce reuse recycle

Beyond usability, material choice and recyclability are key to defining what a more thoughtful and sustainable giveaway might be. When we understand your business and the audience you are looking to engage, we’ll be able to share ideas, samples, prices and visuals from our curated range of Sustainable Corporate Gifts.

Offer information in mixed formats

Blend your use of digital and physical points of contact. We all have a preference for how we receive and retain information, so give your contacts choice. Business cards, leaflets and brochures will share information, to different intensities, in a physical format, which lend themselves to being saved and shared. Use web addresses and QR codes within your presence to give contacts an immediate way to connect, or create a process by which they can give permission for their email address to be used for follow-up contact.

Team led

Share sustainable, branded resources with your team to boost brand and confidence. It’s easy to focus on space at the expense of people. The A-team representing your organisation should be a focal point for visitors as conversations will have the biggest impact on the activities and opportunities that follow.

As you evolve your event plan, consistently do what you can. Positive action through questioning your usual approach and working with a partners like Systematic and oodle will enable you to reduce the environmental impact of your activity, as well as increase its impact on your marketing return on investment. We’re here to help!

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