In a 2021 survey, 82% of consumers said that they prioritised sustainability more now than they did before COVID-19.

More than a buzzword, sustainability has become a key deciding factor for where customers spend their money. Many customers are switching to more eco-friendly alternatives if they don’t believe a brand is doing enough to reduce their environmental impact.

Hosting an exhibition stand comes with a significant amount of materials, waste, and travel. Making your stand more sustainable is an excellent way of improving your business’s green credentials, and one that potential customers will certainly take note of.

Extreme Group have been creating next-level exhibition stands and branded environments for over 25 years. In this guide, we go over 4 steps you can take to improve the sustainability of your stand.

1. Use recycled and recyclable materials

From display cases to partitions, there are a lot of materials involved in the construction of a stand. Many of these end up going to waste afterwards, so it’s a good idea to use materials that can be recycled or reused. Sourcing materials made from recycled materials is even better, as it helps cut down on emissions from production. As a bonus, recycled materials are often more affordable than brand new, lowering the overall cost of construction.

Some great materials include:

  • Cardboard
  • Sustainably-sourced wood
  • Recycled plastic
  • Recycled glass

When designing a stand for financial services company Allianz, we were asked to construct it solely from recycled and recyclable materials. We used sources like cardboard and plastic bottles to create furniture from scratch, resulting in a unique display that demonstrated their green values and stood out from the stands around them.

Allianz Main Area
Allianz detail

2. Reuse and donate materials afterwards

Once the exhibition has ended, arrange for your stand’s components to be reused or donated. You could move artwork onto the walls of your office, donate unneeded tables and chairs to a local hospice, or even auction off tech equipment for charity. Not only will this cut down on waste, but it will help others in the community and make for great PR.

The centrepiece of the Allianz stand mentioned above was a 30ft olive tree, which we later donated on Allianz’s behalf to the “Quiet Garden” of the local Macmillan Unit.

3. Give away eco-friendly merch

Giving away swag is a key part of many exhibition stands – after all, everyone likes free stuff!

Unfortunately, a lot of the typical merch you get from conventions isn’t great for the environment. These include plastic keyrings, bottle openers, stickers, and pens that are used once then thrown away. This generates a lot of waste – waste that has your business’s branding all over it. Not a great look!

Give your swag an eco-friendly makeover by opting for more sustainable alternatives. What you should give away depends on your specific brand, but good options include:

  • Bamboo coffee cups and water bottles
  • Hemp tote bags
  • Branded seed packets
  • Sweets in sustainable packaging
  • Notepads made of recycled paper

Potential customers will be left with a lasting physical reminder of your brand’s dedication to sustainability, which could be the push they need to use your services.

4. Go paperless

Thanks to modern technology, going paperless is easier than ever!

Instead of handing out business cards, place a prominent QR code nearby. Visitors simply need to scan it with their phone’s camera to get your business’s contact details sent directly to them. Aside from reducing the need for paper, this also makes it easier for people to remember your details – business cards are easy to forget and misplace, while phones are not.

Brochures and pamphlets might seem harder to swap out, but there’s a simple solution: interactive ]screens. By setting up screens around your stand, you can educate people about your business in a fun, hands-on way.

Interactivity is a big part of experiential marketing, which involves drawing in potential customers with exciting and memorable experiences. It helps create deep emotional connections between them and your brand, which they’ll carry with them long after the exhibition has ended.

We incorporated experiential marketing in our stand for defence and security company Leonardo. Rather than lump all information into a single brochure, we placed product demo stations around the area that were grouped by product type, rather than application. This allowed demo staff to tailor the demonstration to the audience’s interests, whether that was air, sea, or land defence.

5. Opt for a reusable exhibition stand

If you have a series of events planned, then you should consider investing in a reusable exhibition stand. These stands are designed with durability in mind, allowing them to be used repeatedly without significant wear and tear.

By opting for a reusable stand, you not only contribute to a more eco-friendly approach but also save on resources in the long run. These modular stands can be adapted and reconfigured to suit different booth sizes and layouts, providing flexibility for various events. By making this choice, you not only showcase your commitment to sustainability but also demonstrate your dedication to responsible resource management in the world of exhibitions.

Stand out with a sustainable display from Extreme

At Extreme Group, we stay on top of the latest trends in promotion and marketing. We know how to get all eyes on your brand, and will combine innovative technology with stunning designs to keep your business at the centre of every conversation.

When creating your stand, we can use sustainable materials and methods to reduce waste, cut down costs, and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability in a real, tangible way. The result is a jaw dropping stand that impresses potential customers without doing harm to the environment.

Book a consultation online or by calling us on 01202 620550 – we’d love to talk you through your options and answer any questions you have!