The three Rs of sustainability are reduce, reuse and recycle, and today we are going to look at some examples of reuse in our work. But first, let’s briefly remind ourselves why having a reuse mindset at exhibitions is beneficial
The number one reason is, of course, consideration for the environment. This speaks for itself really. Anything we can do to reduce our carbon footprint should be welcomed. But, fortunately, there are further benefits beyond this
Cost-savings are another driver of reuse in exhibition displays. They won’t always be huge, as there is still storage and transportation to factor in. But there are some savings to be had and every little helps.
From a design perspective, having a circular economy mindset will help instil continuity from one show to the next. Of course, over time trends will evolve. But often there will be furniture, fixtures and fittings that will stay fresh for several years.
Finally, there are practical considerations. If something is custom-built or just difficult to procure, why wouldn’t you reuse it at future shows, as long as it’s in good condition?
In June 2019, we looked after five clients at the Paris Air Show. And amongst the eight projects we managed for them, there are some good examples of reuse. So let’s take a look.
Furniture will always be something we look to reuse as a default when designing our clients exhibition displays. With ample storage space at RTH, we can offer our clients an easy win here. You can budget for better quality furniture, knowing you are going to get repeated use out of it.
Barnes Aerospace were able to benefit from this at the Paris Air Show in 2019, as their stand was broadly similar to their previous exhibition. Tables, chairs and the reception desk were all reused.
The design of lighting in stands, chalets and pavilions offers the opportunity to enhance the ambience and accent key features. A bit of investment in attractive light fittings is really worth it for the effect it can create. Thankfully, light fittings are another aspect that can usually be reused from one exhibition to the next.
Boom, developers of a new generation of supersonic passenger planes, have reused key lighting features in their chalets from Farnborough 2018 to Paris 2019. This includes the elegant suspended lights over their reception desk and the light boxes which display graphics around the chalet.
We were also able to offer Embraer the chance to reuse the lights in the meeting rooms of their chalet.
It’s rarely possible to reuse whole exhibition stands as the space available will vary from one venue to another, your needs are likely to change over time, and of course wear and tear happens. But, where these constraints are limited, reusing a stand as much as possible is a viable option and can help to control cost as well as benefit the environment.
This was the case for Barnes Aerospace in Paris. It could be described as an evolution from their previous stand with subtle design changes to meet the new needs of Barnes and the site constraints.
We even managed to adopt reuse for one of their new features, a suspended banner. The client had wanted to enhance their impact on the trade show floor. By having a stock of available suspended banners,we were able to cost-effectively create a sense of height, allowing the Barnes branding to be seen from afar.