It’s been a busy year but great to have some time off to relax and look back. Sustainability has been a hot topic for most and I think I’ve got a solution:
Ditch the carpet
Granted, it’s not a very complicated idea. It’s great that people are talking about paper straws and water bottles, but there’s an elephant in the room that few are talking about. In terms of sheer volume, not just of the actual carpet but also the thousands of miles of carpet tape and the protective clear plastic that covers the stands during build up, surely it’s time to question if the use of carpet can be reduced.
Why is it still being used in the aisles and unless you’re selling vacuum cleaners, does it really belong on a stand? Sure, it’s nice to have something soft underfoot but it’s never been very practical – either in trying keep it clean throughout the show or the time it takes to lay it. Nothing worse than getting a good start on your platform and electrics, only to wait an hour for a carpet fitter so you can start building.
The actual structural side of exhibitions is going in the right direction – there’s so much modular system being used in the halls now and custom build firms have always re-used stock walls, floor flats and metalwork. Those clever folk at Ecobooth are chomping their way through used graphics to make beautiful new things and inspiring other firms in their wake. There are also other developments, such as creating new substrates to print to that are kinder to the environment.
So why do we persist with the carpet? It’s fantastic that some of the carpet can be recycled, not into new carpet unfortunately, but as a valuable second income stream back into the plastics industry. That still leaves a lot of the other material that are single use plastic – not to mention all of the trucks involved in moving it around. It’s a size 12 carbon footprint that isn’t really necessary, when there are other options.
Plastics can be incredibly environmentally friendly if the manufacturer is accountable for the material they profit from – simply mould a product and use it until you don’t need it, then grind it down and make something else. The responsibility is theirs to ensure that it doesn’t end up in landfill. Using plastics can also be more creative which is pretty useful for events.
I know that the exhibition industry is like Las Vegas, full of glitz and glamour and what goes on in the halls, stays in the halls – but what about the material, can’t that be the same? Obviously I have a bias because that’s precisely what we do at Cableflor, we tackle all of the above.
A re-usable custom colour floor with built in cable management – moulded to a corporate colour or to match graphics. Use it until it needs changing, then send it back us for cleaning and grinding. We can either remould it in the same colour or blend it into our standard recycled black floor. In return we will give you £5 per sqm off your next colour for the material. By the second use of Cableflor it is already cheaper than a platform floor with carpet.
Originally manufactured for a really low platform to avoid losing space from big ramps and to save space in the truck, its evolving into a creative tool that can be a modern alternative to carpet. Combine colours to creative walkways and zones or drop in graphics and lighting – it’s single component and an easy piece of kit to be reconfigured prior to site for a super-quick installation. If you’re installing multiple stands at a show, the time saved really adds up. Above all, you can rest assured that none of it is going to waste.
Next year, if you’re looking to look a little different from your neighbour and you want to personalise your floor, get in touch for a quote. Lead time is about four weeks and the minimum order quantity is only 30sqm. If you’ve made it this far down the post and you want to try it out, then you’ve earnt a 20% introductory discount for 2020.
Save time and money, be creative but above all keep it circular.