Without stating the obvious, the last two years were particularly hard for exhibition stand builder Adelaide Expo Hire.
“I’m not sure how we survived the last two years,” said Michael Siebert, Managing Director Adelaide Expo Hire.
“We are in that group that saw turnover drop around 90 per cent, so it had an incredible impact on our business.
“Obviously it’s been very difficult and at the start I set a goal not to get rid of any staff. I took the view that when things picked up, we could hit the ground running again with experienced staff.”
With some large conferences returning to Adelaide, the company is back to doing what it does best – but with one difference. It now offers a new stand made from a material significantly more sustainable than the industry mainstay MDF.
A trip to EuroShop saw the team source a sustainable engineered fibre-board, manufactured from recycled paper products such as cardboard boxes.
The honeycomb design is 100% re-pulpable and 75% lighter than MDF, making it a great alternative.
It wasn’t the company’s first foray into more sustainable practices, but the previous ‘green’ stand options were a lot more expensive.
The new fibre-board is both cheaper than previous alternatives and easier to work with allowing for time saving construction costs.
“Cost-wise it is around the same mark [as traditional MDF] but is obviously much better for the environment,” said Siebert.
During the pandemic’s downtime, the team used sample boards to construct different stands, sell point of sale displays and signage to get used to the product.
“I was a bit nervous about going out to market with our new Eco-Board product for the first time, but this year’s Destination South Australia was the perfect opportunity to give the stands a test run,” Siebert said.
“We built three stands, one for us, the Adelaide Convention Centre and All Occasions Group.
“They were three reasonably different stands that allowed us to see how it would go in an exhibition environment.”
Now the product has been tested the company is looking to offer it to more clients.
“For some of our clients the sustainability factor is a key marketing point,” said Siebert.
“Putting something in a recycle bin rather than landfill makes more sense.”