Trade Show Waste: It’s Time Trade Shows Go Green


At Cupanion® we attend trade shows and conferences across North America on a regular basis. They are a great way to get to know people in our markets and connect with current clients. However, every time we attend a new show we are flabbergasted by the amount of waste these events produce from start to finish.

We know there are numerous things that can be done by trade show organizers and attendees to reduce the environmental impact of the event. Below are a few of our top suggestions:

The Organizers

Offer Environmentally Friendly Transport

Wether it is a shuttle bus or free bike parking. Offering alternative transportation can help reduce greenhouse emissions and often make it easier for attendees to get to the event.

Use Local Food Sources & Donate Excess Food to Local Charities

If you are providing meals to your attendees try to use catering companies that use local (and sustainable) food sources. Another big issue with conferences and trade shows is food waste. If you think you will have excess food at the end of your show partner with a local food bank. They will ensure that the food is given to people in need in the local community.

Provide Attendees with a Reusable Cup or Bottle at the Event

This is a great option to reduce disposable waste at your event, attendees get an added keepsake of a bottle or mug to take home with them. You can take this a step further by providing attendees with China dishes or eco clambshell containers for their meals. At Cupanion® we have lots of different drinkware options that may work for your event. We can also tie any reusable to our Rewards app to keep attendees engaged with reuse at your event.

Provide Attendees with Water Refill Stations versus Bottled Water

This a no brainer because it will probably save you money as well as being better for the environment. This option also goes great with 3). If you are looking for a water partner Quench Buggy is a great one to work with.
Trade Show Floor

The Attendees

Ship & Travel Conservatively

Try to ship all trade show materials in one shipment and use lighter weight containers, if possible. You can also purchase carbon offsets to cover emissions that were generated during shipping and travel.

Ensure Marketing Collateral is printed on FSC certified paper

From signage to print material exhibitors/attendees can reduce their impact by using FSC paper or post consumer recycled material. Better yet, go paperless.

Bring Your Reusable Cup and Bottle

You can do your part by bringing your own reusable cup or bottle. Many large trade show facilities have water fountains that you can fill up at. Along with coffee and tea stations where you can use a reusable cup or mug.

Follow a Pack In/Pack Out Mentality

Just like when you go on a camping trip, ensure everything you bring is taken with you at the end of the conference.

These are just a few suggestions on how to make your conference or tradeshow environmentally friendly. If you are interested in learning more about how Cupanion® can help your event’s environmental and social efforts, contact us today.

Trade Shows Floor

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