Displays for the Future: Buying an Eco Friendly Exhibit

Custom Exhibits | Exhibit Design | Trade Show Rentals
July 16, 2021

Over the years, trade shows have not been eco-friendly. Whether it’s the “build and burn” philosophy in some parts of the world where exhibits are used once and abandoned or the tremendous quantity of waste created before, during, and after a show. However, there has been considerable progress in the past 15 years, and most exhibition experts expect green practices to become the norm. Show organizers, general contractors, and builders increasingly have a more enlightened approach to all phases of trade shows and events. 

Why Should You Buy an Eco Friendly Exhibit?

If you are reading this article, then you’re already an excellent candidate for a sustainable trade show or exhibition exhibit. You may be personally committed to green materials, or your company may have an eco-friendly mission. Either way, it’s a positive choice.

A recent survey found that “81% of people polled expect companies to be environmentally conscious in their advertising and communications.” With this in mind, not only are eco friendly exhibits better for the environment, they’re in line with consumer demands and trends. In this article, we’ll explore what sustainable means when it comes to designing, building, and shipping a “green display.” 

As an exhibitor, you can make a difference, and that difference doesn’t have to cost more or compromise your design or marketing goals. Green materials such as Eco-board, ReCo, and FSC wood products are smart choices that are comparable to non-sustainable materials. However, none of that matters if you can’t design what you want and get the features you need in your exhibit. 

Practical Ideas for Eco Friendly Trade Show Booth Design

Since 2007, Exhibits Northwest has been designing modern Eco-Systems Displays for their clients ranging from islands to inlines and counters to charging tables. The same marketing principles that apply to a non-green display apply to a green one. Exhibitors want a booth that reflects their brand, fulfills their marketing goals and includes all the components and accessories for their team to be successful on the show floor. 

OK, but will It look green? Do you mean funky, crunchy, or recycled looking? It can but most exhibitors want a sustainable exhibit with a contemporary look and feel. In other words, no one knows it’s “green” unless you tell them. That applies to 10 ft, 20 ft., islands, and accessories. Here are some examples from the 300+ kits in the Exhibits Northwest galleries. 


  • ECON-4022:  This modular design, with 10 ft. and 20 ft. inline options, has bright LED Lightboxes, reception counters with locking storage, and even a spacious interior conference room
  • ECON-4055: An elegant island with product shelving and showcases, this design comes with curved headers and a monitor option.
  • ECON-4094:  This open design with seating and a reception counter is cost-effective as a purchase or a rental. 


  • ECON-1071: Modular and customizable, the ECON-1071 makes it easy to demonstrate products or services on the show floor with casual seating, counters, and rotating tablet displays. 
  • ECON-2060: Big, bold graphics make this an enticing exhibit. There’s even a full-size closet for product samples, coats, purses, and briefcases. 
  • ECON-2113: The perfect balance between backlit graphics and extensive shelving. The curved display counters put your products front and center on the aisle. 

Consider Renting a Custom Sustainable Exhibit 

Custom Rental Exhibits are quickly becoming the greenest of green choices for exhibitors who want to make a difference. Many rental exhibits are built with the same materials previously mentioned, come in a variety of sizes and designs, and can be customized for any exhibitor – even from show to show. Rentals give exhibitors the ultimate flexibility to change their messaging without the hassle of ownership. 

An eco-friendly rental from Exhibits Northwest looks identical to a purchased exhibit. Just imagine your beautiful island display with large LED lightboxes, big overhead signs, conference and meeting rooms, and workstations at a price 40% less than a comparable purchased display. 

Because rentals are used again and again, as long as the components are functional and attractive, they are more sustainable for the exhibitor and the builder. Plus, at Exhibits Northwest, when components can no longer be used, we recycle them – the wood, aluminum, and plastic. That may not always happen when an exhibitor decides to dispose of their purchased display. 

To view all of the rental designs, go to the Rental Menu and click on the Idea Gallery. Or start a conversation with an Exhibits Northwest professional about designing a one-of-a-kind eco-friendly exhibit.


Custom Sustainable Exhibit

Top Materials Found in Sustainable Trade Show Booths

Every Eco-Systems Exhibit from Exhibits Northwest starts with sustainable materials. These include:

  • Aluminum Extrusions: 70% recycled content and aluminum is endlessly recyclable. 
  • Forest Stewardship Council Wood Products: Certified grown and harvested sustainably.
  • Laminates: Greenguard Certified. 
  • Adhesives:  Water-based, low or VOC free (Volatile Organic Compounds).
  • Eco-Board: Biodegradable polystyrene. 
  • ReCo Board:  100% recycled plastics. 
  • Eco-Glass: 100% post-industrial recycled acrylic or plexi-glass.  
  • Fabric Graphics: 100% post-consumer material including dye-sub SEG backlit graphics.
  • LED Lights: Lightboxes, accent lights, stem lights, and downlighting.
  • Eco-Friendly Shipping: cases made from recycled plastics and 100% recyclable when no longer needed. All wood crates are made using FSC Wood.
  • Reusable Packing: Materials Made from Recycled Foam

In addition, Eco-Systems Exhibits are manufactured in Portland, OR at a sustainably managed facility. When it comes to an eco-friendly display, there’s no reason to limit your vision. The materials are comparable in price to non-green materials and have the same construction flexibility.

Sustainable Trade Show Booths

Partner with Exhibits NW For Your Eco Friendly Exhibit 

We’ll design and build whatever you want. The online galleries are idea generators where you can see what’s possible and mix and match designs to fulfill your specific marketing needs. For example, we have clients in the natural foods industry. Most want a bright and colorful exhibit with extensive shelving and storage, plus convenient counters for sampling. They also need a reconfigurable sustainable exhibit since their shows vary from local tastings when a 10 ft. booth is ideal to an industry show in Las Vegas, Anaheim, or Boston where only an island will do to handle bigger crowds at meetings, and press conferences.

At Exhibits Northwest, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all type solutions, but rather individual solutions that fit your unique brand and goals. We imagine your most successful show and then work backward, using your vision and experience to create the perfect trade show exhibit for you.

Have questions about buying an eco-friendly exhibit or your trade show exhibition strategy? Visit our website to learn more about our eco-friendly exhibit design options and rental services or contact us today!

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Schedule a Call
If you’re ready to take your trade show exhibits to new heights, fill out this form and we’ll contact you shortly.