The stands were judged against the Event Greening Forum (EGF) award criteria on 26 February 2019 and included design, materials, operations, transport, communication, beyond green and innovation. "Exhibitors were afforded the opportunity to participate in the competition by showcasing their stand at the exhibition and submitting a written motivation explaining why their stand is green," said Ntshona.
The assessment included demonstrating knowledge about the greening principles and practical implementation thereof. The panel of judges included professionals with event greening experience and independent moderators.
Winners of the small stand category, Resource Design, designed their stand using recycled Xanita board and printed collateral. Resource Design, based in Cape Town, is a creative solutions provider to the exhibitions, events, retail and the hospitality industry. It promotes the use of sustainable materials such as Xanita board and the use of LED lighting.
Gary van der Watt from Resource Design said: "It has taken us eight years to get to this point where people notice the product for what it is. What we also have is legacy projects where most of the exhibition stands are reused to create desks at preschools. kids have got desks to sit at, which are completely not toxic, lightweight, and they go back into recycling, so that there is nothing that ever goes into landfills, our logistics are much better than anything else, because we don’t have to use big trucks, we use small trucks."
The winners of the medium-sized stand category, Cape Town International Convention Centre, embraced the principles of sustainability with a stand for its use of electronic collateral, low reliance on transport and positive social impact. Its fabric banners will be repurposed into drawstring bags and used as corporate gifts.
Judges noted that the competition was tight in this category with many contenders, however, the winning stands embraced greening principles in their procurement processes through engaging with stand designers.
Adéle Eloff from Cape Town International Convention Centre said: "We had put so much work into sustainability as a convention centre that is why to go green is very important. It is something that is very close to our heart, its actually one of our policies that we got a committee on sustainability. For us to see that this is getting appreciation from the exhibition industry, from Meetings Africa and all those involved, it shows really great gratitude from our side."
The large stand winner of the night, Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau, won for keeping up with sustainable, creative and trendsetting principles. They were also noted for being knowledgeable about greening and its value. The modular stand materials, comprised of a mix of Xanita board, wood, and steel frames that have been used at 12 events over the last three years.
Head of the bureau, Corné Koch, said they are always looking for ways to save budget and use it sustainably. "We are not only looking to build a quality stand but a sustainable stand that can be reused. And the elements have been reused for the last three years. As a result, the group is starting to be well known for being resilient and sustainable.”
Each winner and runner-up embraced Meetings Africa’s principles of sustainability, which calls for the creation of an eco-friendly and responsible industry together. They also raise awareness and promote educational opportunities for greening principles and practices. Implementing them successfully is imperative and forward thinking.
• Runners-up: Two Oceans Aquarium
• Winner: Resource Design
• Runners-up: Legend Hospitality Group
• Winner: Cape Town International Convention Centre
• Winner: Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau