The Red Deer Homeshow, this weekend at the Westerner , is one of the biggest trade shows in Red Deer, and we’ve been bustling all month preparing numerous projects for the “really big show”. One could argue Trade Shows are one of the more wasteful marketing activities one could pursue – you need large flashy booths, lots of give-aways (read: print destined for the trash) and if you are a large firm at the Calgary Oil-show, you might even need beer girls to spice things up. All of this amounts to a lot of extra raw materials being used and a lot of it is unavoidably wasted, trapped in the bottom of someones show-bag, never to be seen again.
I always recommend a “use what you actually need” approach to marketing. Buy the right amount of brochures, even though they get “cheaper” when you purchase by the pallet. Drive customers to websites where they can get further information rather than printing a large catalogue. These are all earth saving tips for an industry that is wasteful by it’s very nature. (Does the world really need another tri-fold brochure?)
A good piece of hardware might last 10 or 15 years! The average message might last 1 year.
Trade shows are the opposite of this ethic: you need lots of material, it has to be compelling, and messages are almost always timely – they don’t carry over year-over-year. Shows are messy, busy and you need to set up and break down fast, which usually increases waste. So what can you do?