The majority of my marketing involves traveling with our products to different trade shows around the country, and every venue I’m at is a fun and exciting experience.
Recently I returned from the 2010 Exhibitor Trade Show in Las Vegas. What’s cool about this event is that it’s a trade show for me (and other trade show managers)! We get to see new campaign ideas, new exhibit designs and participate in new training sessions. It’s like being a kid in a candy story for marketers.
This was my first year at the show, and I was pleased to see that several of the companies that were represented had made it a point to design their booths in an eco-friendly manner: lightweight construction materials, giveaways that were made from recyclable materials, data and informational sheets that were available in electronic format (forget the heavy print-outs).
I was able to walk away from this event with several ideas to run by my company that I think will not only reduce our environmental impact, but save us money too. I’ve listed a few below. (Not all though, because some of them are top secret – you never know if a competitor could be reading this… J).
Investigate all methods of transportation for your products/booth – rail, truck, joint-shipping with another nearby exhibitor (non-competing projects, of course).
Investigate upfront costs (such as those for new structures made of lightweight material) vs. long term costs (such as drayage fees – money the event charges to hold your crates, boxes, etc.)
Eliminate waste from your exhibit where possible (try a tank of water with biodegradable cups instead of the continually popular water bottles).
If giving swag or follow-up items, show your commitment (reusable bags, notepads made of recyclable materials, etc. Side note: Derse, an experiential marketing co, sent me one of these the other day. Quite nice. God job, folks. And, yes, I did like the box with confetti-esque stuff.)
Make your customers part of the process (if they want data and materials, oblige them – with electronic copies, unless they specifically require otherwise)
The good news is that your company doesn’t have to send you all the way to Vegas to find out eco-friendly ideas. A quick search of the web can yield some fruitful results – and some great, inspiring campaigns that have had some pretty good success.
I’ll keep you posted on what new ideas pop up over the next year as I travel. Wish me luck!
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