Other than a rock concert, there are few events that drain resources or produce more excess waste than conferences. From packing materials to elaborate displays to overflowing amounts of swag-stuffed goodie bags among throngs of people, trash accumulates in epic proportions. This is one of the reasons Gary Survis started Go Green Displays, focused on eco-friendly exhibits from booths to lighting to banners and everything in between.
But one of the unique aspects of their offering is that you don’t need to trade in your sleek booth for a slab of bark to green your trade show presence. Their concept of Practical Green™ means that to achieve a more sustainable event, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice aesthetics, functionality, or pay a “green tax.” Their goal is to deliver sustainability that can actually save you money. By reducing packaging, weight, and assembly time, it helps cut shipping, labor, and handling fees, and their focus on educating customers, suppliers, and employee partners with the latest information and facts on their products’ environmental impact help facilitate sustainable practices on and off the event floor.
After only a little over a year in business, Go Green Displays has already helped hundreds of customers reduce their environmental impact, and significantly decreased the negative effects of large scale events in the process. Their commitment to offering the most sustainable solutions for customers is matched only by their own dedication to preserving the planet through internal efforts, manufacturing and operations that always have the 3 Ps in mind. At the rate they’re going, green displays will soon become the standard vs. the exception, and they’re doing it so well that they may just put themselves right out of business and have to start innovating another category!
1. Why did you decide to launch Go Green Displays?
We saw what was happening in the tradeshow and event industry. According to some estimates, the event industry is the second largest producer of industrial waste. Take a look at what is left after the end of an event ….trash, and lots of it. We knew that there was a better way.
The cool thing for us was to be able to start creating products with the emerging choices of sustainable materials that are recycled, recyclable, come from rapidly renewable resources, or are composed of composite waste-by-products. While some companies were starting to offer a few products or solutions, we looked to have the most comprehensive offering in the market – end-to-end. Today, no one offers a broader or deeper selection of sustainable event products than Go Green Displays. We sell displays, step-n-repeat printing, sustainable banners, furniture, flooring, lighting, and even carbon offset shipping.
2. Tell us more about the concept and services you offer.
More than simply offering “green” choices, we offer Practical Green™ Solutions. It is not about charging more to feel good about having sustainable green event products. We look to provide solutions that will save our customers money in their event programs.
The market is finally realizing that to have a banner with pictures of butterflies and bunny rabbits printed on toxic PVC is inconsistent at best, and can create real damage to their brand most likely. Our solutions look for consistency between the message the medium.
3. What has been the response so far?
We launched Earth Day 2008 and sales have been accelerating rapidly. People in the event industry are looking to operate more sustainably. We work with clients that simply don’t want to “check a box,” but are looking for a sustainable event strategy. We are seeing strong demand and clients are thrilled with the look, durability, and the functionality of our products.
4. What is your long-term vision for the initiative?
Today, the market needs to know where to find “green” event items. In the future, it won’t be the “green” way and the “non-green” way, but simply a single sustainable way to produce event products. Ultimately, we will not need a Go Green Displays and we will need to come up with a really cool new concept to replace it.
5. What advice do you have for others who want to start an eco-focused company?
Be consistent with who you are and operate your business in a manner that is consistent with the sustainable products you are selling. Basically, don’t “talk the talk” unless you are prepared to “walk the walk.” Everyone wants to sell green today. But, what is your “green geshtalt?” Why does it make sense? Figure that out and you are well on your way.
Name: Gary Survis
Company: Go Green Displays