It’s no easy feat to attain “visionary” status in any endeavor, but when it comes to sustainable events, it’s downright extraordinary. According to a new report, IMEX America did exactly that. In 2021 IMEX America hosted its most environmentally friendly show to date. Above all, the recently released very positive data makes us at Expo Logic even more excited to exhibit at the Mandalay Bay Resort event in October.
MeetGreen, a certified women-owned sustainable event management agency, conducts net zero emissions business. They produced the independent report and awarded their highest level of achievement — Visionary – to IMEX America, based on the MeetGreen Calculator 2.0.
IMEX America has big plans for the 2022 event in October, and their sustainability accomplishments are proof we can improve the way in-person events are hosted in the future.
“MGM Resorts is proud to be collaborating with IMEX America to help build IMEX America into a showcase for advanced sustainable event programming and practices,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, Former Vice President of Corporate Sustainability at MGM Resorts International. “Events can serve as catalysts towards a more environmentally and socially sustainable future, and we believe IMEX America is helping do just that.”
According to the report, IMEX America achieved a 95% landfill diversion rate, the highest to date. This — along with recycling, composting, and donation efforts — meant the show achieved the industry threshold for a “zero-waste event.”
Some of the ways IMEX America offered attendees opportunities to learn more about sustainability best practices in their venue and during the event:
- Attendees visited and toured the MGM Mega Solar Array
- Student leaders participated in the Future Leader’s Forum
- Attendees and 31 Booths signed the IMEX America People & Planet Pledge
- Attendees participated in Smart Monday Sustainability Tours
Read more statistics in the full report here: IA21_Sustainability_Report.pdf (imexamerica.com)
Ultimately, making environmentally friendly changes to the tangible elements of a trade show is a surefire way to improve the sustainability of an event.
- Rethink & Reduce: To increase floorplan for social distancing, carpeting was eliminated in aisle runs throughout the Hosted Buyer Lounge (photo 1)
- Reuse: 29,602 square meters of carpet and padding being saved for reuse at future events (photos 2a and 2b)
- Recycle: The People & Planet Village piloted a brand-new 100% polypropylene carpet that can be more fully recycled at the end of its reuse. It has been re-designed without the heavy adhesive backing which often limits the amount of fiber-stock that can be recovered in traditional carpet. (photo 3)
- While carpet to landfill was significantly minimized by planning and supplier efforts, all scraps were recovered by Mandalay Bay through its sort team for recycling with local partners (photo 4)
Given the high volume of exhibiting at IMEX America, there is frequently furniture and materials left for disposal by exhibitors. As part of IMEX America’s efforts to reduce landfill waste, and extend the life of exhibitor materials, the 2021 donation program:
- Recovered 10,155 kg of event furniture for donation to Las Vegas community outlets
- Collected and shipped 895 name badges and lanyards to Terra Cycle for recycling
- Deployed a new QR code process for exhibitor engagement and identification of material for donation
Planning for sustainable efforts is the most important thing an event planner can do. Always, striving to improve the environmental impact of their event.
- There were 795 vegetarian entrees sold at IMEX America 2021. When modeled using emissions factor averages, these plant-based meals saved an estimated 5,040 kg of carbon emissions when compared to meat main courses.
- Single-use plastic reduction is a high priority at IMEX America. Reusable “water bubbler” refill stations saved an estimated 4,436 standard PET water bottles. In addition, the 7,573 aluminum bottles utilized from concession outlets totaled 12,009 PET plastic water bottles eliminated for 2021.
Signage and materials are another critical dimension of IMEX America’s sustainability strategy requiring significant pre-planning, supplier, and supply-chain engagement.
- Key iconic branded elements created without a date for easy reuse at IMEX America 2022 (photo 1)
- Wire-frame fabric enables lower waste setup and take-down and helps maximize reuse (photo 1)
- FalconBoard meter boards are 100% cardboard, easily recyclable, and plastic-free (photo 2)
- Hardwall applications in the People & Planet Village piloted Neenah conVerd paperboard as an easily recyclable alternative to PVC and Sintra used in past shows (photo 3)
- 2,372 square meters of printed meter board and signage graphics were saved for reuse (photo 4)
Expo Logic’s solutions and services reflect decades of experience. In other words, we are continuously developing our solutions to meet each event’s unique needs. At Expo Logic, we are committed to providing modern in-person event technology to help you deliver the ultimate event experience.
Our solutions empower event organizers to utilize better processes. Often, eliminating the need to print floor plans, registration forms, exhibitor contracts, and attendee badges for a successful event. These are all a direct reduction of environmentally-costly plant materials and industrial waste. Although our focus is on creating customized solutions of tools, processes, and technologies; we make your job easier. We are thrilled to offer more sustainable options for in-person events.