Trade Show Commentary

Trade Show Displays | Is Going Green Wasting Green?

In Trade Show Displays on January 8, 2010 at 12:21 am

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 Trade Show Displays

Trade Show Displays

I’ll bet I just lit the powder keg with that title! But before you storm my blog site with nasty comments as though I was Sarah Palin being written about on the Huffington Post, hear me out on this! Where does common sense begin in this argument and where should stupidity and political correctness end? Yes, I have a business that sells trade show displays and the pressure is always on to be socially correct and sell “green” things!

Trade Show Displays

Trade Show Displays

To begin with, who’s really against clean water, clean air, and all the other things that we hold near and dear with regard to the physical quality of our planet. I have a place on a nice lake and I’ll be darned if I’m going to let anyone mess with the water or the forest etc. I truly believe we all feel that way. However this green thing is basically one big conundrum which means the train of common sense has left the station.

Take for instance an observation I made at the grocery store a number of years ago when first we had paper bags  and then suddenly there was a plastic alternative. Hmmmm which one do you choose? If you take the plastic, then it goes into the landfills and will never return to mother earth. If you take the paper, you have to cut down a tree and for heaven’s sake who wants to do that; but it will degrade in the earth if it has a little moisture, but then I’ll be destroying the habitat of a spotted owl who does prefer to be in old growth forests, however if the barn owl keeps chasing his tail feathers all over North America like he’s doing and killing him off, a pad in downtown L.A. will be looking mighty good to him. And what about the barn owl, do we go after him and kill one endangered species that is endangering another endangered species? Where does it end?

I’ll tell you where it should end! Common sense is where. A long time ago I made an astute connection regarding something that we’ve been hearing a lot about lately which is never let a disaster go to waste. About 15 years ago we had a minor earthquake and of course you could set your watch knowing when every geology professor at every school of higher education would begin scratching and clawing their way onto the local news proclaiming that the chances were one in 10,000 that “the big one” was coming soon and we needed to be ready and to ignore the warning signs was something that we as a civilized society just couldn’t let happen. Yep, we needed to fund all these grants for education sake, but sadly the real reason was because it was “all about the money”.

There are a lot of things in life that I will be, but the one thing I really don’t like to be is a “sucker.”

How do you avoid it? Start with this:
1) Who is saying it and what financial incentive might there be to play this thing out?
2) If someone becomes the official spokesperson for the cause, do they have anything to gain financially by promoting it?
3) If this thing can be hyped enough, can somebody associated with it get promoted or recognized to the point where there might be another dollar in it for somebody?

Get the point; follow the money!

A number of years ago I watched a scenario play out before my very eyes when Mt St. Helens erupted and I was the director of sales and marketing at the Hilton Hotel in Portland. It was about 3 months before the city was to host a national convention consisting of national television news executives. This was the “A” group of reporters and executives, however it wasn’t long before several of the local hot shots who were bucking for a national gig had hyped the event so big that everyone was convinced that lava was going to flow through the main streets of Portland and the big convention canceled out of concern for the safety of their own member. The city took a real hit, but it once again showed that regardless whether it’s in a political, academic, business, or whatever arena, follow the money trail and you’ll get a straight answer and be taking a few less sucker punches along the way.

Trade Show Displays

Trade Show Displays

Now back to the green thing; I see a lot of trade show displays related sites promoting green products and I get emails touting all the advantages of carrying all those fine products to the point of being ridiculous. In the last 9 month I’ve only featured one green product which happen to be bamboo banner stand,  along with a host of other trade show displays that aren’t green,  and during this time I’ve not had a single call, or inquiry asking about green products.

Now back to common sense; given my life experience, what can I assume?

Lowell Nickens

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