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Partnering with Exhibitors to encourage greener events

Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia  |  MBS Convention Centre  |  12-14 September 2017

Tradeshows, roadshows, exhibits are events that utilize booths and displays to promote products and messaging. Often these booths and displays are used and disposed of, creating waste. Is this sustainable? Quite simply, no.

 

Exhibition displays are built using a variety of materials – particularly wood, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum, amongst others. That these displays are disposed of following an event is not only wasteful, but reflects the complacent attitude towards sustainability within the events industry.

 

It is often pointed out by event professionals that the option of storing and re-using booth setups & displays is not adopted extensively, as Singapore’s limited land area makes storage expansive. Ironically, it is more economical to build as needed, rather than re-use. Given the number of tradeshows, conventions and roadshows that take place throughout the year, this waste can add up substantially. Fortunately, event organisers, such as REED Exhibitions, recognise the importance of reducing this waste by pro-actively encouraging exhibitors to build green.

“REED Exhibitions plans to continue with this award as it is a good opportunity for exhibitors to not only walk the talk, but to also demonstrate their environmental commitment to their customers, partners and even employees.”

Louise Chua, Project Director at Reed Exhibitions

Green Space Award by REED Exhibitions

 

The Build Eco Xpo (BEX) Asia, organised by REED Exhibitions, is Southeast Asia’s trade exhibition that caters to the green building market, and is held annually. This year it was held from 12-14 September 2017 at Marina Bay Sands.

 

With over 400 exhibitors in place, resources are used to construct booths, displays, and demonstrations. In line with this, REED Exhibitions introduced the Green Space Award (GSA) 10 years ago to encourage exhibitors to go beyond promoting green buildings & solutions, to actually procure and build green for their presence on the showfloor.

Green Space Award was developed as a way to recognise the efforts of participating companies that have chosen to go beyond the basics, and design their booths with creativity and innovation, and use of green elements such as recyclable materials. Winners receive a plaque and are recognised for being a green advocate. The award is completely voluntary, and has a rigorous judging criteria in place.

 

“The strategic intent of the programme, is to encourage exhibitors to “walk the talk” in their pursuit to contribute to the Build Green Industry, for a Greener Future.” excerpt from Green Space Award memo.

Best Pavilion Design – Singapore Green Building Council

The judging panel is carefully selected by REED Exhibitions, where individuals with relevant experience in Architecture & Interior Design are invited on board to ensure the integrity of GSA.

 

Louise Chua, Project Director at Reed Exhibitions shares, “This year, close to half the exhibitors participated by declaring information on their pre-event preparation including green procurement, usage of sustainable or recyclable materials & lightings, reduction of print materials, and some going the distance of planning public transport arrangements for staffers etc, amongst other initiatives.” When asked about what participants think about the GSA initiative now in its 10th year, Louise shares, “Those [exhibitors] who participate in the award think it is a good initiative and competition can be stiff. Also, often it is the bigger players who see the value in being more eco-friendly, hence we are happy with increasing responses from SME and smaller set-ups as well. ”

Best Booth in Pavilion Design – G3 Industry

As for future plans for the GSA, Louise shares, “REED Exhibitions plans to continue with this award as it is a good opportunity for exhibitors to not only walk the talk, but to also demonstrate their environmental commitment to their customers, partners and even employees.”

Green Space Award Criteria

Employing the use of eco-friendly/recyclable materials

Booth Design

Booth Innovation

Clarity of Demonstration

Accessibility

Declaration (Voluntary participation)

 

2017 BEX Asia Green Space Award Winners

Best Raw Space Design – Greenology

Best Eco Booth Design - Ngee Ann Poly

Best Booth in Pavilion Design - G3 Industry

Best Pavilion Design – SGBC

Best Eco Booth Design – Ngee Ann Poly

When asked about winning the Best Booth in Pavilion Design, Bas Redhead of G3 Spaces shares, “Wonderful, even though technically it’s not a show stand we pride ourselves in paying attention to design so it’s great to see that recognised. One of the judges in particular was very supportive and passionate!” He adds that for BEX Asia, G3 Industry had intended to use their product (the Finch modular home) as the stand, and that it made a big impact.

 

Veera Sekaran, Managing Director of Greenology, winners of the Best Raw Space Design award shares his take on booths, “Tradeshows & roadshows often have booths, some generic, some customized, but all use resources to build it. One way for event organisers to encourage greener booths is to recognize the booths that are designed and utilized in a green fashion, and to encourage others [exhibitors] to adopt green approaches.” The Greenology booth used at BEX 2017 was also used at the Architecture & The Built Environment Exhibition 2017, and is scheduled to be re-used at upcoming events.

Best Raw Space Design – Greenology

“The exhibitions industry needs to design with re-use in mind. There is a lot of waste after each event where displays are simply flattened and disposed of, this is very wasteful.”

– Veera Sekaran, Managing Director of Greenology

At a time when industries are being encouraged to adopt sustainable business practices, Singapore’s events industry is still lagging in its efforts to develop a Circular Events Ecosystem – where waste generated is diverted as resources for other industries and other’s waste used as resources for events. Initiatives like Green Space Award encourage sustainable practices, and can be easily adopted by organisers without having to expand their budget or complicate processes.

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