Exhibitions are ‘rubbish’ Expert OpinionWorld
Andrew White, MD of Triggerfish Communications, addresses the elephant in the room, litter.
The event industry is very good at jumping on a bandwagon; Brexit, apprenticeships and the gender-pay-gap to name but a few. It squeezes a big picture topic or worthy cause to fit its own self-worth – then slaps itself on the back or mops its brow – but perhaps the industry should look internally before weighing in on external debates?

This sector is very vocal when it wants a quick media hit. However, we are more often than not slow to get our act together and ultimately other industries don’t want to listen to the moans of the meetings market.

As an industry we have a huge problem about to hit and it’s time to address the big elephant in the room. Our colleagues in retail and public catering are currently struggling to come to terms with their consumption of drinking straws and plastics. For the event sector the ramifications are far, far bigger:

·       think of any exhibition and the cups, the plates, the ‘disposables’ used in catering

·       think of the giveaways that each stand has to encourage footfall

With some shows hosting 10,000 guests over a three-day period; the figures become far more explosive than a few thousand straws in the capital’s destination restaurants and cocktail bars.

Plastic is a very real topic and we need to address it. As an industry we need to square up to what’s ahead by being less opportunistic with matters that are not as relevant or prevalent. Banning plastic in the exhibition and events sector will have far greater resonance and thought leadership than trying to jump on many of the UK’s other issues.

I’d welcome the thoughts of organisers and exhibition spaces to come together and create a policy that will stand up, be relevant and has a chance to be noticed by the Government and the media.

We have a responsibility to future generations and can genuinely create an impact in the UK and across the business of events.

So, if you are willing to talk rubbish – let’s speak.

Tom Hall

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World

Tom Hall

Editor, Exhibition World

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