Top Ten Tips: How to Attend & Exhibit at an Event Sustainably

With everyone back to school this week, the events calendar is hotting up again for Q3 and Q4 – take a look at the below top tips for exhibiting and attending events more sustainably!

  1. Plan your event experience well in advance

For exhibitors – how are you showcasing your company?  What do you need?  How are you getting kit to and from the event?  Use sustainable materials for your stand and don’t date anything so it can be used again and again.  Try to use couriers with electric vehicles to transport your kit to/from the event too.

For attendees – Make the best use of your time at the event – which sessions do you want to attend, which exhibitors do you want to meet?  Connect with other delegates ahead of time too!  This is all made a lot easier if the event has an app or platform you can access in advance – check with the organisers!

2. Travel to the event via public transport

Unless you can cycle or walk it – a lot of venues promote clean air walking routes now so check that out!  If you can only travel by car, be sure to car share to keep emissions down or hire an electric vehicle.


Bring your own bottle for water refills throughout the day.  Events should offer water refill stations or download the Refill app to find a Refill point near to you – stay hydrated without the need for single use bottles.

4. Take time out of the day for some ‘quiet’

Events, particularly exhibitions and tradeshow, can be manic and often an assault on all the senses.  

Get away from the exhibition floor at some point, preferably outside and try to make it ‘device free time’. If you are lucky enough to have a wellbeing lounge at the event, make the most of it, even just for 10 minutes will make a huge difference.

5. Go digital with collateral
Instead of printed brochures and flyers, exhibitors should host all marketing materials online, which can be updated in real-time and accessible via a QR code. If you are printing, make sure its double-sided, black & white and on FSC certified paper. 

If you are an attendee, encourage exhibitors to share materials with you digitally or better still encourage event planners to have an app where all promotional materials can live.

6. Reuse & Repurpose before Recycling

Make use of a venue’s recycling facilities ensuring your waste goes into the right receptacle, but better still, don’t plan for single use – plan to re-use. 

?  Audit your inventory before the event and plan where everything is going to go when the event is over -don’t bin things that could have a second or third life somewhere else.  

?  Bring your own lanyard for your name badge and recycle your badge at the end of the day.

7.  Eat feel good mood food

Tradeshows are exhausting whether you are attending or exhibiting, so keep your energy up with plant based foods, avoiding meat, dairy and heavy carbs.

8. Pass on Giveaways

If you are exhibiting seriously reconsider these. If you must, look at sustainable gifts or run a prize draw to win an experience rather than investing in more ‘stuff’ that none of us need. 

If attending, politely decline any plastic tat and educate exhibitors on why – or opt for sustainable gifting policies such as charitable donations or tree planting projects.

9. Rethink Networking
Instead of single-use business cards that ultimately get binned, exhibitors and delegates can connect with each other immediately on LinkedIn using the QR code scanner device.

10. Share your Story

Ask questions and talk to each other.  Delegates, exhibitors, event organisers, caterers – ask questions and share your sustainable learnings, challenges, advice or struggles with your network and encourage others to do the same

Do you have other tips you would recommend – let us know in the comments!

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