February 27, 2024 6:06 PM
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Keep Your Eyes Out for More Sustainable Tradeshows

by Thea Engst, Exhibit City News

Read full article in our Q3 Issuu HERE .

Sustainability has been a hot topic for businesses for years now, and many companies are taking the responsibility of treating our planet better very seriously. One such company is Greenbuild, which, according to their mission statement, strives to create a community “for global green building professionals to improve sustainability, resilience, equity, health and wellness in the spaces we live, work, play and learn.” And this year, Greenbuild is teaming up with the IWBC Conference to create a tradeshow that practices what it preaches: sustainability. Here’s what these two companies are doing, how, and why it’s a trend to watch.


The IWBC Conference made waves in 2018, when it arrived on the tradeshow scene with event spaces constructed entirely of wood. Their website says, “When sustainably managed and harvested, wood produces far lower CO2emissions than concrete or steel. If the industry wants to make an impact, mass timber and light framing are a clear solution in North America. One cubic meter of wood will store one ton of carbon dioxide. And so, they moved forward, creating event spaces that are built and constructed with far lower CO2emissions than most. It’s only natural that this trend would catch the eye of more businesses that value protecting our planet, so the eventual collaboration of IWBC and Greenbuild made a lot of sense.


Because sustainability can be done in more ways than one. That’s were business like Greenbuild come into play. We got to chat with Greenbuild International Conference + Expo Marketing Manager Nick Vener about the company’s missionand practices. Sustainability is embedded into every aspect of the Greenbuild conference, he said. Our conference team works with an Advisory Board, Program Working Group, and Session Reviewers, which consists of a dedicated lineup of sustainability professionals vetting sessions and topics.


This means that from the swag given (say goodbye to things like stickers, single-use plastics, and the like) to the construction of the booths themselves (enter companies such as IWBC), Greenbuild ensures its projects are having a lower and lower impact on the environment. But can they prove it? Why, yes, they can! Greenbuild also releases a full in-depth sustainability report after every show, detailing the events overall carbon footprint.Vener told us. As the continued impacts of climate change remain in the spotlight, I predict that these practices will become adopted by the wider events and tradeshow industry.


Companies that practice sustainable methods and hold themselves accountable with transparent and public reports? Sign us up for that industry trend. But if all of this seems like it might be a bit much, consider this report from MeetingsNet. “The average material waste produced per show participant is three and a half pounds, of which 51 percent goes to landfills, 26 percent is recycled, 10 percent is combusted, six percent is composted, and five percent is donated.” That means that if companies like Greenbuild and IWBC continue to grow, succeed, and spread awareness, we’re looking at less waste in our landfills. And who doesn’t want that?


And with more and more awareness on climate change, our impact on the environment, and all the political and moral pressure that comes along with that, we predict a bright future of more and more sustainable practices in tradeshows.


IWBC Conference is an international construction conference. It is well-renowned for being the only international wood-based construction conference in the world. IWBC works to create a space that brings together those who are looking to improve, expand, and evolve in the construction community


Greenbuild (happening now) is a community working towards bringing together creative professionals who are interested in constructing and building responsibly. They strive to improve our environment on both a micro and macro level for the present and future.


Thea Engst is from Fabius, NY, and lives in Providence, RI. She received her MFA in Writing from Emerson College and is a copywriter, author, and cocktail recipe developer. Her beverage-focused books, Spirits of the Tarot, Nectar of the Gods, and Drink Like a Bartender, can all be found at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and your local bookstore.

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