Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘Green’

Earth Day | 1970-2021 | Thursday, April 22

April 19th, 2021 COMMENTS
Earth Day 2021, Thursday April 21

Thursday, April 22 is Earth Day

First held in 1970, Earth Day challenged and mobilize Americans to bring awareness to the issues caused by air and water pollution as well as the amount of trash going into landfills. Rivers on fire, dead fish floating on the surface of lakes, and smog blanketing major US cities were common news items back then. Does anyone remember when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland was on fire in 1969?

Here’s Walter Cronkite reporting on the first Earth Day in 1970.

New Laws and Agencies

These environmental disasters and health issues caused by pollution led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), OSHA, The Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act among others. These laws have protected millions of men, women, and children from disease and death and protected hundreds of species from extinction.

Landfill

Recycled and Green Materials

Environmental issues also led to the practice of recycling which became mainstream in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until the mid-1990s that states began mandating the recycling of paper, plastics, and metal.  Recycling decreased the amount of waste going into landfills and created a new industry dedicated to producing recycled raw materials and products with the same look, feel, and quality of products made from virgin raw materials.

Recycling

Aa a trade show veteran in the 80s and 90s, I remember the staggering waste produced at a typical show or event that went into landfills. Since then, recycling and sustainability have had a positive impact on North American trade shows. We no longer see mountains of brochures, paper products, give-a-ways, and carpeting thrown away.

However, building eco-friendly exhibits continued to be a challenge. Green materials either weren’t available or were expensive. Plus, there was a misconception that sustainable meant designing a building a display that was either structurally unsound or aesthetically unattractive.

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits

In 2006, Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits was founded to give exhibitors eco-friendly trade show booths that didn’t compromise on design or quality. Eco-Systems utilized eco-friendly materials similar to Sintra, fabric made from recycled plastics, aluminum extrusions produced using new and recycle aluminum, FSC certified wood, Green Guard laminates and water-based adhesives and inks. As technology has evolved, so has the quality of the material we use today in the construction of Eco-Systems displays. But one thing has never changed: the innovative designs that made Eco-Systems appealing.

Over the past 15 years, sustainability has been a major initiative for most corporations, a trend we’re seeing again as companies revisit their trade show program. Unfortunately, many exhibitors don’t realize they have sustainable options.

Offering your clients an eco-friendly exhibit is not only is the right thing to do for the environment but also gives your clients the ability to tie their corporate sustainability initiatives into their trade show program. And the best thing is they can do this without compromising the design or the quality of the materials used to build the exhibit. Plus, purchasing or renting an Eco-Systems display never costs more than a non-sustainable exhibit.

We encourage you to visit the Eco-System’s Galleries in Exhibit Design Search with over 200 contemporary designs.

eSmart Sustainable Trade Show Displays

The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo

August 5th, 2011 1 COMMENT

Greenbuild International Show

Greenbuild 2010

Using GREEN to Grow Businesses

The Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is right around the corner, taking place in Toronto, ON from October 4-7. For those who have never been, the show is spectacular, filled with some of the most innovative sustainable products that you will ever see.

The Greenbuild Expo exemplifies the idea of utilizing GREEN to grow businesses. The show provides an unrivaled opportunity to learn about the latest innovations, explore new products and exchange ideas with other professionals. The 3-day event also includes numerous educational seminars and workshops, and is the four-time winner of Tradeshow Week’s Fastest 50 growing trade shows in the U.S.  Last year, in Chicago, IL, the event drew nearly 40,000 attendees and over 1,000 exhibiting companies.

Greenbuild’s attendee base is large, diverse, and geographically distributed. In 2010, the show welcomed attendees from 114 countries, many of which were high-level decision makers.  This year, as the show moves to Toronto, the international intrigue only expects to rise.

Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits prepares for this event months in advance, expecting a spike in sales and RFP’s. Although Eco-Systems is not “officially” affiliated with Greenbuild, many exhibitors are drawn to our line of sustainable displays. Last year, Eco-Systems built over 35 exhibits that were displayed at the show. Some of the materials used in the construction of these exhibits include:

  • Recycled Aluminum Extrusion
  • Graphics made from 100% Recycled Soda Bottles
  • LED Energy Efficient Lights
  • Biodegradable Infill and Graphic Panels
  • Bamboo Shelves and Cabinetry
  • And much more . . .

See examples of our Sustainable Exhibits Here:

Textured Coatings of America Inc. purchased a 20′ x 20′ Eco-Systems exhibit for the Greenbuild Show last year. President and CEO Jay Haines had this to say:

“I think it’s one of the greenest booths here, and we’re extremely happy to showcase it at the Greenbuild Show.”

For more information about the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, please visit the website:  http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/Home.aspx.

Greenbuild International 2010

Greenbuild International 2010

To contact Eco-Systems Sustainable Exhibits regarding exhibit options for Greenbuild or any other show, please contact Eric Albery:

Eric Albery
VP of Marketing & Business Development
eric@ecosystemsdisplays.com
Direct: 616.726.6269
Main: 866.463.2611 x 303

(Source: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/Home.aspx)

Classic’s Green Initiatives: Word on the Street — May 16th thru May 20th

May 21st, 2011 COMMENTS

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Classic’s Green Initiatives (What You Should Know)

So, you may be saying, “Well it’s about time!” But not so fast.

Over the past three to four years, we have witnessed a lot of companies  jump, or should I say “belly-flop,” into the Green/Sustainable movement. In doing so, many have looked foolish by attempting to make “Green” a marketing ploy rather than a responsible business plan. I’m sure you’ve seen many of the claims. My favorite was the exhibit manufacturer that claimed their lunchroom was a green initiative since many employees ate there rather than drive to a fast food joint.

As a result, we have opted not to market a green plan that is not real. Instead, we have taken real steps to become a more responsible business when it comes to recycling and being a steward of the environment.

Granted, we’ve had help. As many of you know, we acquired ownership in Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits last June. But even before that, we had a very close partnership with Eco-systems where we provided manufacturing expertise to Eco-systems, and they, in turn, guided us toward more sustainable manufacturing processes.

Again, this has been a learning process for Classic Exhibits — one we are still learning almost daily. We still have a long way to go, but our Production and Administrative employees are clearly passionate about it. Make no mistake, we will continue to become more and more environmentally conscious. But understand one thing. It’s unlikely we’ll refer to Classic as a “Green Company” anytime soon. Because we are not. For exhibit solutions that are 100% “Eco-friendly,” we encourage you to turn to Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits, the industry leader in sustainable displays.

Here are a few of the Green/Sustainable changes in our manufacturing process over the past few years.

recycle, reuse, reduce

Recycle, Reuse, Reduce

1. Eco-fi Fabric

Classic uses Eco-fi fabrics, which are made from recycled soda bottles, for many of our fabric needs. Whether it’s on Quadro Pop-ups, Intro Folding Fabric Systems, Euro LT Modular panels (backsides), or the wood crates that we line with fabric and completely jig for your displays.

2. Glues

Classic primarily uses 3M’s Fastbond 3000, a water-based adhesive. It’s a replacement for many of the standard glues of the past which were not only unsafe for the environment, but also did not work as well.

3. Metal Recycling

You can’t be the leader in hybrid exhibit manufacturing and MODUL aluminum extrusions without metal drops. Nearly every order creates drops whether it’s Aero Overhead Hanging Signs, Visionary Designs Hybrids, Sacagawea, or specialty work on our CNC mill. We work with a local company called Metro Metals. They pick up our drops for recycling and pay us for the metal.

4. Aluminum Extrusions

We are very fortunate to work with a local aluminum extruder that believes in using as much regrind aluminum as possible in their billets. So much so, that they are the only extruder we know that certifies the recycled content of their billets with a 27 percent post consumer minimum! Combine that with the fact that they recycle their own drops off the extrusion press (post industrial) and you get a level of recycled content that often exceeds 70 percent.

5. Sheet Goods

Like others in our business, we use a lot of sheet goods:  Sintra, Lexan, Styrene, Coroplast, Black Foam, Acrylic, Laminate, and certainly Wood.

On the plastics, we developed a program with a local company, Denton Plastics, where they pickup our drops and recycle it into reusable pellets. With a simple series of labeled drop bins, our shop staff has someplace other than the trash to throw even the smallest pieces of laminate and acrylic scraps. Which leads me to the next item . . . .

6. Regrind Cases and Black Foam

All of Classic’s roto-molded cases  are made from 100% regrind plastic. The beauty is that the plastic pellets used to make our regrind cases are supplied by Denton Plastics, the same company that recycles all of our sheet good drops (except the wood of course). So, the drops we produce are actually in some cases recycled into pellets that are then used by our local roto-molder to make our cases. Pretty cool and a fast reclamation of goods.

In addition, the die-cut foam packaging you’ve come to expect and love from Classic is made from recycled content. The next time you receive a Sacagawea or a Perfect 10 and open a roto-molded case (regrind plastic), unpack the MODUL aluminum (recycled content), and admire the packaging (recycled foam), you’re witnessing our commitment to finding green solutions.

7. Wood

Classic has many local options for recycling our wood drops as well. All of which, like the plastics, get ground down and then sold for re-use in either recycled sheet goods or other recycled wood products.

8. Cardboard and Paper

Recycling cardboard and paper has always been easy. We’ve been recycling all our paper products for years.

So rather than send out press releases about how we encourage carpooling, or how our systems are reconfigurable, or how we offer a substantial rental program, all of which make us green somehow, we’ll continue to take it one positive step at a time and learn from our suppliers, our employees, and from our partner Eco-systems Sustainable Exhibits.

Be well.

–Kevin Carty

http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a

Word on the Street — December 6th thru December 10th

December 12th, 2010 COMMENTS

2011 Trade Show Predictions

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Industry Predictions 2011 — Part 2

First let me say, “Hello!” With vacation and the holiday, I have been gone recently and have not blogged for several weeks. But I am back in the office now, and I would like to dovetail on Mel’s entry back in mid-November regarding 2011 industry predictions. So here are my thoughts . . .

To say that the past two years have been a bit nutty would be a gross understatement. At Classic, we have seen strong months that have been off the charts followed up by months where I was left calling the local phone company just to see if the phones were broken.

But this fall (September thru November) has left me very hopeful for 2011. November, for example, was our best November ever. And the quoting activity in September, October, and November has left me very optimistic. People are “planning” rather than “reacting.” We’re seeing people preparing weeks and months in advance rather than holding onto their dollars until the last possible minute and buying in a reactivate mode weeks before their show. This is a great sign!

Islands are back! They are not back to 2008 levels, but we are seeing a normal mix in our quoting and sales process. Most are more than simple islands that carry little detail or flash. They are more elaborate, and the budgets have been healthy. All in all, we’re witnessing the “first-steps” in the rebuilding of exhibit programs for corporate exhibit clients. In early 2011, we will be introducing a series of modular island concepts which we’re very excited about. As this market expands, we want to ensure that Classic Distributors have the tools to capture more than their share.

SEGUE Sunrise VK-1905

Hybrids, Hybrids, Hybrids . . .  they are not going anywhere and are clearly here to stay for years to come. As a company, we are equipped more than ever to handle all requests. Whether it is for a starter client that has $3000 to spend on a 10 x 10, $15,000 to spend on a 10 x 20, or a seasoned client that has $10,000 for a 10 x 10 or $25,000 for a 10 x 20.

We have seen business increase across our entire hybrid lines from Sacagawea to Visionary Designs. We expect the SEGUE line to be particularly strong over the next 12 months as Silicone Edge Graphic solutions become even more popular. The SEGUE Sunrise, introduced in this week’s Design Monday, is a great example of how you can compete at the entry level with a portable, well-engineered, and smart “no tools” hybrid solution. It’s unlike anything else on the market, and we expect Classic Distributors will find an enthusiastic audience for these portable hybrid kits.

Sustainable (Green) Exhibits. This was treated as a clever marketing term two to three years ago. A fad if you will. But believe me when I say that eco-friendly exhibiting is not a fad. It is real, and there is a large market for it. We have seen the price for materials adjust down. The exhibits are now a financially viable option for those companies with green exhibit initiatives. The Eco-systems Sustainable brand experienced solid sales increases in 2010  as companies have increased their marketing budgets. The potential leading into 2011 is larger than ever.

The ClassicMODUL Aluminum Extrusion team has spent a lot of time, energy, and resources reaching out to alternative markets over the past two years. Those efforts have begun to payoff as budgets have slowly started to come back. I expect that the ClassicMODUL division will experience significant growth in the retail, POP, and architectural markets in 2011.

At the end of the day, I am more than hopeful for 2011. Will there be an immediate return to 20 to 30 percent annual growth? No, and it would be foolish to expect that. There have been significant and permanent changes in the exhibit market that will make it difficult to return to the “glory days.” Rather, we will all be catering to a new type of market that will force us to be creative, adaptive, and responsible. With that will come smaller growth than we have seen in the past. But positive growth all the same.

What do you expect for 2011? Please share your thoughts and opinions with other Classic Distributors.

Hope you had a great and restful weekend.

Be well

–Kevin Carty

http://twitter.com/kevin_carty
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kevin-carty/3/800/32a