Exhibition Organisers Collaborate on Better Stands Programme Pilot 

Eleven exhibition organisers have come together to pilot the rollout of a programme called Better Stands, which aims to reduce single use disposable stands at exhibitions in favour of reusable structures. 

The Eleven organisers are AMP Events, Clarion Events, Faversham House, Hyve, IMEX, Informa, Montgomery Group, Raccoon Media Group, Reset Connect, ReThink HK and Terrapin. The pilot is currently supported by isla, an event sustainability body.  

The pilot’s key objective is to identify ways in which Better Stands can be easily adopted across different organisations. Each organiser has identified one or multiple events in their portfolio to implement Better Stands during the pilot period ending in March 2024. The intention is to scale implementation of this evolving programme by handing it over to the global Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative.

Better Stands provides a consistent framework to measure the sustainability of event stands, setting classification criteria according to how much of a stand/ or booth is reused or recycled.  Stands that do reuse some of their elements can achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold Better Stands status, recognising the great work and commitment to sustainability by the exhibitors and stand contractors. 

To find out more about Better Stands, visit www.betterstands.info

Better Stands pilot participant commentary.

Adam Parry, Co-Founder, AMP Events “Along with other world-class exhibition organisers, I am thrilled to be a part of the Better Stands initiative. By reducing single-use disposable stands and promoting reusable structures, Better Stands is transforming the events landscape. The events industry deserves a more sustainable future, and I invite others to join us.”

Ellen Osborne, ESG Manager, Clarion Events: “Clarion Events embrace the Better Stands pilot and the positive change it brings to the industry, providing an opportunity to foster sustainability, efficiency, and safety across stand-building at our events.”

Jenny Matthew, Head of Event Delivery & Sustainability, Faversham House: Faversham House is excited to be part of the Better Stands Pilot scheme which is such an important initiative to support organisers and move the events industry, and our stakeholders, closer to net zero at a much faster pace.

Lucy Hurry, Head of Sponsorship Logistics, Hyve says “We are excited to be a part of the Better Stands initiative. This is great opportunity to be able to provide our sponsors with guidance and tools that they can use across the events industry in an effort to become more sustainable and drive positive change across the sectors we work within.”

Roger Lehner, Senior Operations & Sustainability Executive at IMEX: Our ongoing measurement shows that reusable stands – from the structure and furniture to the signage and graphics – are vital to reducing carbon impact and improving the ease, safety and sustainability of the event experience. We’re confident the Better Stands initiative will provide us, our exhibitors and stand builders with a clear framework to further reduce emissions on the path to net zero.

Ben Wielgus, Head of Sustainability at Informa: “The concept of Better Stands was fostered within Informa and so we’ve seen the benefits of it first hand at a number of shows in our portfolio. As such, we’re firm believers that broader implementation has the potential to fundamentally change the way the events industry approaches stand construction and supports the circular economy. Along with the participants of the Better Stands pilot rollout, we can show that Better Stands are better in many ways – safer, faster to put up, can look great and can often be more cost effective and of course they can cut the waste from exhibitions by up to 80%. We’re really excited to join with colleagues across the industry to continue to make progress.”

Kate Bridle, Operations Manager, Montgomery Group: “At Montgomery Group, we’re taking great efforts to improve sustainability across our global events portfolio. We wholeheartedly support the Better Stands initiative because it aligns with our commitment to environmental responsibility and eliminating unnecessary waste. Reducing single-use stands is an important part of creating a more sustainable exhibition industry, minimising our carbon footprint and running events that have a positive impact on people and planet.”  

Mike Seaman, CEO, Raccoon Media Group says “I am excited that Raccoon Media Group can join the Better Stands Initiative in order to help foster positive change amongst exhibitors at events. This is an important part of our wider commitment to Net Zero which is based on the core principle of ‘progress over perfection.’ This scheme aims to help inform our clients and to bring them on a journey with us that ensures they can still achieve the maximum impact of a face-to-face connection with a minimal impact on the environment.”

Duncan Reid, CEO & Co-Founder, Reset Connect: “Reset Connect are delighted to be working with Better Stands to support the transition towards reusable event structures and drive sustainable change within the events industry. As a conscious event organiser, this initiative aligns seamlessly with our commitment to environmental responsibility & our role in guiding our stakeholders in adapting to sustainable practices. We look forward to supporting this initiative & harnessing change for a more sustainable future for events!”

Chris Brown, Founder & CEO, ReThink HK: “From inception ReThink HK has set out to lead the way for sustainable expos in Hong Kong; our participation in the Better Stands pilot will provide our raw space exhibitors with a proven framework to encourage, and recognise, their efforts when building attractive, safe and sustainable booths; while minimising waste and helping us to reduce the overall carbon impact of event operations.”

Sharon Roessen, COO, Terrapinn: “We’re excited to join the Better Stands pilot, championing a new industry standard. This initiative provides guidance for exhibitors and contractors to create sustainable and safe stands without compromising cost or aesthetics. Our aim is to showcase that sustainability can be seamlessly integrated into stand design and construction.”