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When you work in the exhibitions and event industry, it is devastating to see the amount of wastage on the conclusion of each and every event.

Over the past decade, Darren Edwards, Founder of Invisage Creative Services says he has seen an increase in the volume of materials and perfectly reusable display equipment being simply thrown away when no longer required at the end of events.

“Custom-build exhibition clients can spend in excess of $100K on a different look each year, and every year we ask what they would like done with their displays and the answer continues to be ‘throw it away!”, he said.

“We are talking about five-star purpose-built exhibition stands complete with reusable panels, counters, display plinths, reception desks, display and storage cabinets, light-boxes, with all the bells and whistles,” added Edwards.

Being a business owner and avid environmentalist at heart, it was going against Darren’s own business strategy to reduce the volume of retired exhibit materials reaching overflowing landfills.

Invisage Creative Services’ own program features the recycling of nearly all exhibit materials, including aluminium, plastic, wood, particle board, corrugated cardboard, fabric, metal, laminate, nylon, Velcro, paper, Styrofoam, foam packing material and carpet.

“It came to the point when it was not enough for us to be recycling, it became our vision to assist others in doing the same,” stated Edwards.

For those that have worked with Darren, you will know that this is not ‘marketing talk’, it is yet another sound sustainable initiative from Invisage Creative Services to maximise ‘the greening opportunities’ within our industry.

Darren dabbled in listing equipment for sale on consumer based portals such as ‘ebay’ and ‘trading post’, but they were not the appropriate vehicle to on-sell used product in mint condition.

“We researched sites in the UK, America and China who re-sold exhibition equipment as a brokerage service on a commission basis, but we could not find an alternative where you could list and manage the sale yourself,” Darren added.

That is when the idea of ‘Display Trader’ was borne.

Display Trader - www.displaytrader.com.au - provides a sustainable ‘store-front’ solution for purchasing new, and recycling of used, exhibits by providing a portal connecting buyers and sellers of new and used displays, trade show exhibits, retail displays, merchandising equipment, products, services and suppliers.

Display Trader not only provides the avenue to adopt ‘a green events’ mentality, it also assists smaller companies to lift the profile of their next trade-show presence by purchasing high quality display equipment at a fraction of the cost. In turn, this will increase the professionalism of future exhibitions and events nationwide.

With a coat of paint and re-branding many items are totally reusable, but it is storage that is the issue for most companies.

“The challenges we see are that many exhibition build companies, such as ours, simply do not have the surplus storage area to house all this ‘un-wanted’ equipment, so it is putting the onus back on the client to be aware of the environmental impact caused by disposing of their goods year- in year- out.

Savvy clients could place their exhibition display on Display Trader, prior to or during the tradeshow, with the aim to on-sell the display components on event completion. The removal expenses would be borne by the purchaser on event completion. Even If they sold the stand for a fraction of the cost, instead of disposal, it could pay for any associated transport or storage costs, expand the life of the product to assist with their company corporate responsibility strategies and provide a nominal return on investment.

Other areas that unwanted components could be recycled is in the ‘retail shop-front’ environment with a clearance store mentality. Many retail-outlets hire empty space on a casual basis to dispose of run-out or left over stock at significantly reduced costs.

The purchase of dump bins, product display plinths, light-boxes, counters, cabinets that are frequently showcased in high-level consumer or trade-exhibitions could be utilised to increase the professionalism of the clearance-style outlets for a fraction of the cost. The ideas are endless.

However, the greatest challenge is getting message throughout the industry that there are options to help save the impact on our environment.

Darren Edwards says the goal is to encourage exhibition organisers, expo hire companies, convention centres and associated venues to include the benefits of Display Trader in their show and exhibitor manuals to help spread the word.

“So far, we have had interest from Displayways New Zealand, but need the Australian exhibition industry’s support to eliminate unnecessary wastage and provide a legacy for our future generations,” Edwards remarked.

Reinforcing their own sustainable business practices, Invisage Creative Services team have transformed unwanted display equipment into colourful playground equipment in a program for the long-term enjoyment of children and associated networks.

In addition, they have also planted 12,000 native trees bordering the Lerderderg National Park – west of Melbourne – as a testament to the company’s goal of saving disposal of 1,200 exhibition stands through promoting the Display Trader portal.

For further information or images to support this article, please visit www.displaytrader.com.au or contact:

Darren Edwards,
Founder and Manager,
Invisage Creative Services
PO Box 259, Bacchus Marsh, Victoria 3340
M: 0408 006430 | E: info@invsage.net | www.invisage.net

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Invisage Creative Services has been providing creative services to the meetings and business events industry since 1993. Our objective is to connect people through supply of creative event services.  Invisage, Events Apps, Event Campaign, Event Social, Event Famil, Display Trader, Ausfolio and BannerPro are trademarks of Invisage Creative Services.  

Distributed: Wed 16 February 2011

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