It’s always greener on the other side of the. . . aisle?

Marketing the eco-friendly way. . .
Apr 5, 2010 7:33 PM ET

It’s always greener on the other side of the. . . aisle?

By trade, I’m a former media relations specialist turned trade show manager. I like what I do (marketing defense industry products) and I’m pretty darn good at it. Basically, I’m serious about my job.

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.

Take a look at this link from It’s good stuff. Want more? About.Com’s Small Business Canada is a great resource.

I’ll keep you posted on what new ideas pop up over the next year as I travel. Wish me luck!

By Gingerly Green of Two Girls Go Green (@TwoGirlsGoGreen). To comment on the original post, click here. is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


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