Eco-friendly displays

Green Initiatives Will Get a Boost Under Obama

Barack Obama was sworn in yesterday as the 44th President of the United States, and his economic stimulus plan is structured to give green initiatives a major boost. In an effort to create jobs and clean up the environment, Obama will route a large portion of his proposed $800 billion stimulus plan toward green energy initiatives. Whether you agree or disagree with President Obama’s strategies, there is no doubt that green initiatives will get a boost thanks to his economic stimulus package.

Environmentally friendly trade show exhibits have become increasingly popular with exhibitors over the past five years, and industry experts predict that green trade show displays are here to stay. Under the Obama administration, companies that use environmentally responsible practices may receive tax breaks that will allow them to further reduce the retail price of their products. This trend could drop the price of eco-friendly booths drastically, which would allow retailers to sell these systems at prices that were once impossible.

The Business of Green Media Conference, which takes place on January 22, 2009 at Cal Poly State University, will highlight eco-friendly practices in the printing industry. Through the use of sustainable, recyclable materials, printers and graphic houses have pioneered green displays, and we at MODdisplays are proud to share their innovations with our clients.

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Eco-1st Bamboo Retractable Banner Stand

Posted by Andy Keeler on December 10, 2008
Banner Stands / No Comments

Bamboo Banner StandThe Eco-1st Bamboo Retractable Banner Stand is unique because of its lightweight bamboo construction and its microknit recycled fabric graphic. If you’re looking for an affordable, attractive banner stand that’s environmentally friendly, you’ve found it.

The graphics are printed using water-based inks, which is much better for the environment than solvent-based inks. The fabric that your image is printed on is made from recycled soda bottles. The hardware itself is made from durable, renewable bamboo. Every Eco-1st banner stand we sell has been designed and produced with the environment in mind. Whether you’re using the banner stand to promote your company’s green initiative or you’re genuinely committed to eco-friendly practices, this banner stand will suit your needs well.

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Eco-Friendly Attendance

If you’re planning to attend a trade show in the next few months, take a look at Aaron Brazell‘s recent post about eco-friendly conference attendance. Aaron offers a few tips for attendees who are looking to save a little money and be more environmentally conscious at the same time. Take a look at a few of his suggestions:

  • Stay in close proximity to your conference center, and walk to and from the show.
  • Turn up the thermostat in your hotel room. 75 degrees isn’t that bad, is it?
  • Reuse your towels and sheets in your hotel room (you don’t change your sheets every day at home, do you?).
  • When possible, attend virtual trade shows instead of traditional trade shows.

These are great tips, and I’d like to add a few more:

  • Encourage eco-friendly exhibiting practices. Have discussions with exhibitors about the construction of their booth, and let them know that eco-friendly exhibiting is important to you. This may be enough to turn them toward an eco-friendly trade show booth for their next event.
  • Encourage attendees and exhibitors to recycle their promotional giveaways. The vast majority of “swag” type items end up in trash cans just outside the convention hall.
  • Encourage exhibitors to send virtual copies of their trade show literature. This will reduce the number of brochures that need to be printed.
  • Encourage exhibitors to recycle their trade show displays after the show. MODdisplays offers an exhibit recycling program that allows exhibitors to get a 10% discount on the purchase of their next booth when they recycle their old booth or donate it to a non-profit organization.

If you have any questions about going green in the trade show industry, contact MODdisplays at 877.MOD.EXPO or email

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A Convenient Booth

In the most recent edition of Exhibitor Magazine, editor Travis Stanton wrote about his recent quest to find the source of a troubling statistic. Originally published in an article for Trade Show Week, a report was supposedly issued by the Environmental Protection Agency which claims that trade shows are the second biggest source of commercial waste in the United States. After six months of digging, Stanton finally got to the bottom of the issue by contacting the Trade Show Week writer (Lisa Plummer) directly. The report never existed.

Stanton goes on to analyze how a statistic with no supporting evidence made its way into countless articles and press releases over the past few months. He concludes that it is the “hunger for answers and data” related to green exhibiting that drove the article to be written and the unfounded statistic to be quoted again and again. Stanton does well to bring the truth to light without embarrassing Lisa Plummer, who wrote the original article.

With a well written article behind him, Stanton then makes the quintessential blunder that we see all too often with members of the media. Tossed haphazardly into an otherwise well written article is a paragraph designed to create fear and unnecessarily clutter the green exhibiting landscape. According to Stanton, “Green exhibiting is a tad scary on several levels.” Let’s take a look at those levels:

Level 1 – “…exhibitors are justifiably afraid of being perceived as greenwashers.”

Exhibitors may be afraid, but their fear is not justifiable. (“Greenwashing” is defined as: disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.) Companies can easily stave off any accusations of greenwashing by taking a few simple steps:

  • Make sure you purchase an eco-friendly trade show display in the first place. Do your research, and seek out companies with a commitment to environmental responsibility. Ask for details regarding the sustainability of your exhibit, and make sure the details provided line up with your idea of what constitutes a green exhibit.
  • Take information regarding your green exhibit to the trade show with you, so that you can prove your claims if needed.
  • Most importantly, don’t worry about what other companies think of you. Set out to do the right thing for your company, and ignore the jabs from your competitors. Any worthwhile trade show marketing strategy will have an eye on the long term, and if you go green before it’s fashionable, you’ll eventually (if not immediately) be pleased with your decision.

Level 2 – “…suppliers are unsure what constitutes a green exhibit in the first place,”

*Insert buzzer noise* Wrong.

Every manufacturer knows exactly what constitutes a green exhibit. Most suppliers are not unsure about what it takes to go green, they are unsure about how they can go green without incurring the massive costs associated with a complete overhaul of their production systems. In the coming years, manufacturers who delay in undertaking the overhaul will be floundering (thanks in large part to exhibitors nationwide who have decided to take a stand). Manufacturers may be unsure about what it will look like for their company in particular to go green, but they certainly understand what constitutes a green exhibit. Just in case there is any doubt, I’ll make it clear for all you manufacturers out there:

  • Green displays have to be lightweight and portable.
  • Green displays have to be made from recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Green displays have to be produced in low-emissions, low-waste facilities that would stand up to inspections made by distributors of green exhibits (like MODdisplays).
  • Green displays should be modular.
  • Green displays should last longer than standard displays.
  • Green displays should not be made from toxic/harmful materials.
  • Green displays should not be made from scarce/endangered materials.

If you don’t believe that manufacturers know what it takes to go green, take a look at Pascale Engineering, a producer of portable exhibits. They were green long before it was fashionable. Their facility is powered 100% by wind energy, and they produce exhibits from recycled and recyclable materials. Their products are designed to pack into small, lightweight cases (similar exhibits require a number of heavy cases to acheive the same effect), and every exhibit they sell is modular (you can use every part in many different configurations, eliminating the need to produce specific pieces for each specific need). The entire facility throws away less trash per day than an average family of four (given their scale of production, this is absolutely astounding), and they publish facts about their eco-efforts for all to read.

Level 3 – “…everyone’s more than a little apprehensive about the sizeable initial investment it allegedly takes to go green”

Mr. Stanton, I’m glad you said allegedly. Our customers don’t seem the slightest bit apprehensive because our eco-friendly booths simply don’t cost any more than exhibits that are not environmentally-friendly. At MODdisplays, we serve customers who are looking for custom-looking exhibits at a costs that would make custom exhibit houses cringe, and we can do it for our customers thanks to the modular capabilities of our display systems.

The 26% premium exhibitors allegedly pay for green exhibits is a fact of the current market thanks largely to manufacturers and distributors who don’t know what they’re doing. You won’t pay that premium at MODdisplays.

Let’s stop scaring exhibitors away from green booths by planting unnecessary worries in their minds. There are companies out there who know what it takes to go green, and who can help you do it for less money than you might think possible. Our exhibitors aren’t scared of being labeled as greenwashers because they are confident that they have made an honest effort to go green.

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Hewlett Packard Setting the Tone

Glenda Brungardt, Hewlett Packard’s Event Marketing Manager, spoke today from 10:00AM – 10:45AM on ways companies large and small can make their trade show display systems more environmentally friendly. Tech giant HP received a lot of press in the early part of 2008 when they converted their old, 30,000-pound exhibit into a much lighter system constructed from more eco-friendly materials. In place of steel, toxic PVC, MDF, and maple veneers, HP chose to use aluminum, formaldehyde-free plywood, bamboo, and recyclable carpet, resulting in a much greener exhibit system.

Glenda promises to help exhibitors differentiate between truly green exhibits and impostors, and providers of eco-friendly displays are hoping that she will push for a set of criteria that trade show displays will need to meet in order to carry the “green” label. Many companies use green exhibits as a marketing tool without any real intent to improve the environment, and weeding out some of the impostors would help exhibitors make better choices when purchasing a green exhibit.

Going green is not as simple as exchanging non-green components of your display for green components. As Glenda Brungardt of HP ( would surely tell you, there must be a change in the overall outlook of your trade show marketing staff. Changing out the parts can serve as an effective temporary measure, but in order to take your green exhibiting program to the next level, you must start from scratch and analyze your new exhibiting goals.

Congratulations to HP on their green marketing initiative.

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Using Props in Trade Show Displays

Thanks to Alex Mincinopschi, who provides free 3D models, I was able to illustrate exactly what I mean when I talk about “using props in trade show displays”. Many exhibitors (especially at automotive trade shows) use cars or motorcycles as props within their exhibit. The image below uses the latest in exhibit design (the XR Wave Display) combined with the latest from Alex’s library of free 3D models (a Yamaha XV 1600 motorcycle):

XR Wave 10.14

This trade show booth is available for purchase on our store (minus the motorcycle of course), and we can send you customized 3D renderings with your graphics and images to help you decide which components and graphics will work the best with your exhibit. This unique ability places us well ahead of our competition, allowing us to send you customized proposals with quotes and detailed images in less than an hour.

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Wave Hello to the Newest XRline Model

Posted by Andy Keeler on April 30, 2008
Trade Show Displays, Trade Show Marketing, Trade Show News / No Comments

XRline Wave Display

We’re sick and tired of boring trade show displays, which is why we continue to push the envelope by developing new options for our clients. The XRline Wave Display is the latest portable modular exhibit system to hit the market, and you can only find it at MODdisplays. The unique wave canopy features built-in lighting and stylish bent aluminum, which is a feature unique to this new system.


The XRline displays are already recognized as the market’s most environmentally friendly exhibit system, and the addition of a wave canopy to XRline’s repertoire further solidifies its place at the top of the portable booth industry. This display (like all of our XRline booths) is produced in a factory powered entirely by wind energy, and the entire factory produces less waste per day than an average family of four. This clean, modern display is produced in a clean, modern factory (imagine that!).


Just because we add a new canopy style to your selection doesn’t mean we’ve neglected the optional accessories that often make or break your exhibit. As you can see in the images below, we offer a wide range of accessories with our XR Wave systems as well as our standard exhibits.


We’ve taken yet another giant step ahead of our competition with the introduction of this system. We offer free graphic design from our in-house professional design teams with the purchase of any XR Wave booth, which could save you over a thousand dollars in graphic design charges from a typical exhibit house. As always, we offer free custom proposals (which consist of detailed quotes and images to match that are customized with your company’s brand), so give us a call at 877.663.3976 or email sales@moddisplays, and we’ll be glad to help you.

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Exhibit One – The Green Exhibit

Posted by Andy Keeler on December 13, 2007
Trade Show Trends / No Comments

Recent studies show that there is a huge demand for eco-friendly trade show exhibits. The manufacturer of our Exhibit One line has decided to push the envelope in green exhibiting to an entirely new level.

The state of the art Exhibit One manufacturing center is powered by wind energy, which is one of the cleanest forms of energy available. Despite the added cost of operating on wind energy alone, the manufacturer truly strives to have a minimal impact on the environment.

Exhibit One Display

In addition to the use of clean forms of energy, the entire Exhibit One display is recyclable, and all of the components are reusable in different Exhibit One configurations. This means you will never need to throw away an Exhibit One component. The structure of the display is made from aluminum, which is one of the most widely recycled materials in the world. The counter surfaces and canopies are made of wood that is renewable and grows quickly.

Most importantly, the commitment to eco-friendly exhibits is more than just a marketing scheme for MODdisplays and for the manufacturers of Exhibit One. We truly believe that protecting the environment is important.

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