Green Transportation Options
Even if COMPUTEX was restricted to a single exhibition centre, there’s a good chance that some transportation would still be required. People need to get to their hotels from the airport and there could be private meetings set up all around town.
While Taipei does seem to be equipped with a good MRT system, it is largely unused by COMPUTEX attendees because it’s just not as convenient as hopping into a (very inexpensive) taxi that will go directly to your next destination. I’m not exactly sure what sort of solution can be made, but if the MRT stations were more conveniently located to the official COMPUTEX Hotels where all the attendees were, people may be more inclined to take this “green” option instead. At the closing press conference, Walter Yeh, TAITRA’s head honcho did mention that they are pushing to have the MRT station built at Nangang as quickly as possible, possibly for 2009 completion, but more likely, 2010.
Efficient Lighting and Electricity Use
Being a technology trade show, COMPUTEX consumes a lot of electricity over the length of its five days. You’ve got bright lighting for the entire trade show floor and most of the products on display are fully powered up the entire time.
This excessive use of electricity can’t possibly be good for the environment. The infrastructure costs may be pretty heavy, but it would be interesting to see if they could outfit the main exhibition halls with “green” power solutions, like wind, solar, and hydro power.
To be more efficient with the power as it is, it can be mandated that all booths must completely power down when the show wraps up each day. This way, the products on display are not powered up and consuming electricity. As you know, a lot of tech has a “standby” mode that still uses power, so having a master cutoff for the hall might be a good idea.
Ban the Bags
Many of the booths on the COMPUTEX trade show floor give away free tote bags, most of which are actually empty. The vast majority of these bags end up in the trash before the international visitors end up on their respective flights back home, so the bags serve very little purpose.
In line with the suggestion about all digital press kits, it really is not necessary to give out these bags. By and large, the bags are used to carry the printed press kits and other pieces of information. Yes, I know that we like collecting swag, but most people can carry around a sling bag or a backpack for that purpose rather than collecting far too many one-use bags.
The amount of trash can be drastically reduced by elminating all this extra packaging. T-shirts don’t need to be individually packaged, promotional pens don’t need individual sleeves, and branded bags are not at all necessary.
Just the Beginning
These five suggestions can help to point trade shows like COMPUTEX in a much greener direction, but ultimately the greenest solution would be to hold virtual appointments in virtual conference rooms. This way, international travel is minimized. The trouble is that we wouldn’t be able to get as much hands-on time. It will be interesting to see what shows like CeBIT and CES do to minimize their impact on the environment. Going green is something that should definitely be on their respective priority lists.
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