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IMEX 2007: Green light for Visit London - winner of 2007 Green Exhibitor Award

( The drive to encourage and reward exhibitors for ‘going green’ continued last night with the award of the second ever IMEX Green Exhibitor Award to Visit London at the show’s Gala Dinner.

The award, which is run in conjunction with the Green Meetings Industry Council, the Wuppertal Institute, Germany and Meeting Strategies Worldwide, is made to a single exhibitor at Messe Frankfurt who is judged to have made the best and most quantifiable efforts to minimise the environmental impact of their attendance at the trade show. It recognises that many exhibiting companies want to lessen the environmental impact of exhibiting but that they also need an incentive to change their ways.

The Visit London stand was judged against five criteria and organisers also faced a 20-minute interview. In the judges’ opinions, Visit London’s approach to its stand at IMEX not only paid attention to the creative requirements of an exhibition trade show booth, but also gave preference to environmentally-preferable products that reduce waste, can be re-used and are made of recycled materials.

Visit London worked closely with its exhibition design agency, Protean Design and in-house ‘green unit’, Future London to enhance the ‘green’ credentials of its stand. The team used innovative acrylics and PETG plastic plus di-bonded aluminium frames, making 100% of the construction materials recyclable (MDF flooring will be reused in cupboards). Furthermore, compact and light design reduced shipping and storage requirements.

Judges were impressed by Visit London’s attention to detail and its documented event environmental policy, which includes a Lifecycle Audit. Results of last year’s post-IMEX Audit encouraged Visit London to dramatically reduce its use of printed marketing materials for 2007, preferring instead to provide information on a USB. Visit London offered visitors bottled water supplied by ‘belu’, a scheme which uses its profits to fund clean water projects around the world. The company also decided to use as many local German staff as possible to save the environmental cost of sending London-based personnel to Frankfurt. The organisation already operates a carbon offset programme which accounts for both personnel and freight travel.

Severine Ougier, Business Marketing Manager of Visit London accepted the Green Exhibitor Award from Ray Bloom. She explained, “Visit London are exhibiting with their own stand at IMEX for the 2nd year and has endeavoured to take all the necessary efforts in its capacity to minimize the impact of its stand on the environment at this year’s show. We were very keen to submit an application for the IMEX 07 Green Exhibitor Award to enhance our own procedures and encourage other destinations and suppliers to do the same in the years to come - thus hopefully preventing and reducing the industry’s impact on the environment. As a company and destination, London is also trying to educate business and leisure visitors on the impact they have on the environment. This is another step forward towards making London one of the most sustainable cities in the world by 2020. Re-thinking the way events are organised is one of the many steps to go about it.”

Said Carina Bauer, IMEX Marketing and Operations Director, “We are delighted that the Green Exhibitor Award is going from strength to strength. We know that special recognition such as this provides exhibitors with an incentive to change their behaviour and, at the same time, stand-builders are becoming increasingly aware of the role they can play in advising and guiding clients. It’s important for everyone in the industry to support these efforts and to keep encouraging and rewarding positive change.”

In addition to the Award-winning stand from visit London, the efforts of the Kenyan Tourism Board and Sri Lanka Convention Bureau were also applauded.

Media Contacts:
Carina Bauer
Tel +44 (0) 1273 227311
Kit Watts
Mob (0)7968 417518

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