Are Trade Shows Worth the Waste? Maybe, if They Can Cut Down on It

TerraCycle Tom-Blog
Did you know the tradeshow industry is second only to the construction industry in the amount of waste it generates? Garbage from discarded packaging, samples, handouts and more piles up for days creating countless tons of unused of garbage! So, as someone deeply into reducing waste, I’ve been drawn away from participating. A few weekends ago, though, I actually had a great trade show experience, and my views have shifted. Over the years, I’ve done my share of trade shows, and I’ve never liked them. When I added up the time and energy, not to mention costs of the booth, travel, hotel and all of the freebies we’d end up giving away, it rarely seemed to make sense. Sure, consumer and trade shows are a great way to speak with thousands of potential customers directly, and it’s got to work (for more than the organizers) as companies keep returning to their annual shows (and it can’t just be for the parties). Having found other ways to more effectively reach TerraCycle’s customers and communicate our message, and given that traditionally trade shows have been an environmental disaster, I’ve mostly given up on the medium.