5 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing an Eco-friendly Venue

November 21, 2015

Shane Shirley

Shane Shirley is CMO for SBS Brands, a 90-year-old global brand leader focused on creating digital and print business solutions that offers traditional and eco-friendly customized promotional products to accelerate trade show marketing.

A lot of work goes into organizing a tradeshow and choosing a venue is a huge part of the process. When you opt to plan an eco-friendly event, that puts an extra emphasize on finding just the right fit for your venue. Here are 5 things to you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing an eco-friendly location you’re your next tradeshow.

·         The Host City is Pivotal - Determining the host city is the first decision to be made, but there are a lot of things to consider. The ideal location will be centrally located in order to minimize travel for the majority of your exhibitors and attendees. This may very likely be easier said than done, but the more central the location, the less greenhouse gases are generated by travel and those who attend will need to purchase fewer carbon offsets.  

·         Check Out the Neighborhood - How close is the venue to airports and train stations? What is the public transportation system like? Is the area walkable? Can it easily be accessed via a bike? Are there eco hotels and restaurants nearby? When people attend a tradeshow, they will spend a great deal of time at the event, but consider how this venue relates to the fabric of the surrounding area and the larger impact.

·         Look for Venues with International Green Meeting Certification, like the Cobo Center in Michigan -  This certification is awarded by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) which is a non-profit, membership-based professional organization led by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Very specific criteria must be met in order for a venue to receive such certifications, so when choosing a venue look at any awards or certifications they’ve received; because this will help you determine their level of eco-friendliness.

·         Put Your Green Requirements in Your Contract - Include your eco goals in your contract and review these points when you have discussions with representatives from the host city and venue. By letting everyone know upfront what you want to achieve, you will be better able to determine which city and venue are the best fit for your event.  

·         Look for Partners - Find people and organizations you and your attendees can work with to help make your event as green as possible. For instance, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers was able to drastically reduce the amount of food waste generated at their show by teaming up with local food banks and soup kitchens. This was a simple solution that benefited the community in the host city and made the event significantly greener.

The venue will really set the tone for the greenness of your event. Selecting a venue is a major decision and with some careful consideration, you can easily make sure your venue is eco-friendly. What do you look for when selecting a tradeshow venue?

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