Episode 34 – Greenbuild and the Tradeshow Experience

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In this episode, we will talk about the upcoming Greenbuild tradeshow. We are here today with Jessica McNaughton and Julia Antenucci of CaraGreen.

JESSICA:  Hi, this is Jessica. 

JULIA: And this is Julia. 

JESSICA: We're here with Build Green Live Green, the CaraGreen podcast on issues facing the building materials industry. 

JULIA: And today we're going to be talking about trade shows, specifically Greenbuild.

JESSICA: So, CaraGreen has exhibited at Greenbuild a few times in the past. I think I've attended many times and the first time was probably 12 years ago. And at the time, the trade show was really focused on green building materials, what was new in the market, and you could walk around the show and really get informed about the materials and it was really focused on the expo floor. Over time, the show's been sold to different groups and that education track has stayed really solid and it's really offered a good continuing education program for architects and designers. So that piece of the show has really matured very nicely and the speakers, I mean, the keynote this year is Barack Obama. 

JULIA: Can't wait for that. 

JESSICA: I know. Yeah, that's very cool. And then I think Martin Luther King's daughter is also one of the speakers. So, you know, they've really, you know, pulled in some of the key people in the green building industry, but the tradeshow floor has suffered. And that is why I have struggled with, you know, having CaraGreen exhibit the past couple of years. So, it was a really tough decision this year on whether we were going to exhibit or not. 

JULIA: Yeah and I think in the face of what you've experienced in past years at Greenbuild, we as a team, we put our heads together and we decided to think about, you know, if we're tired of the traditional trade show experience, then why don't we flip it on its head and do something completely different. 

JESSICA: Right. So, this year, actually I should say it was about three years ago, the show was in L.A. The booth across from us was massage chairs. So, for the entire duration of the show, I had to sit there and watch people jiggling across from us for five minutes a pop. No sustainability story to the massage chairs. The people who ran that booth, they didn't know why they were there. They just heard there was a tradeshow in town. So that really made me lose a lot of confidence in the qualifications for people that were exhibiting at Greenbuild. So, you're right, if we're going to do this show, we're going to flip the concept entirely and do something different. And to do that, we had to look at who goes to that show and what do we want from them and what do they want from us. So, the main attendees are architects and designers and since it's Greenbuild, they're looking for something sustainable.  And you know, we decided that the best thing we could do is basically a samples popup shop. So, we created the Samples Studio, a Healthy Materials Popup Shop presented by CaraGreen. So, our booth, which is 2032, we'll be at Greenbuild next week on Wednesday and Thursday the 20th and 21st of November. And really what we've done is we've taken a handful of our key brands Lapitec, Kirei, PaperStone and Durat and we've told their stories and we've set up a sample studio with all their different finishes and textures that architects and designers can come in, access an app on one of our iPads and put together a samples package that helps them tell a story. So, each of those brands has a story of their own. Kirei has a great story of acoustics and human health and comfort. Lapitec has a great story of zero silica, textures, and natural materials. Durat has a great recycling story. And then PaperStone has, you know, this nice warm feel of recycled content, made in the USA. So, we've really taken the time to tell the story of those brands. And we've also brought some of our new products like Organoid and Expanko Cork to really kind of round out that space. So, you know, I would encourage designers and architects that really want to actually see samples, not just a single install of one kind of material, but actually walk through a samples studio- it's basically a mobile showroom. And you can take the samples with you at the show or we can put together a package that we will send to you after the show. So, we really want people to come in, look at the materials, use them as a focal point, build a story around them and then we will send your story to you after the show. So we're really excited to just kind of offer this service to architects and designers and give them a real experience of being in this, effectively a popup shop at the show and getting instant gratification of the materials that they want with the stories that they want to tell.                                           

JULIA: We've got a great blog post that, you know, details our plans for Greenbuild next week on the blog, www.caragreen.com/blog. It also has a link and discount code for if you want a free exhibitor pass, but if you can't make it to the show and you want to follow along with our adventures next week, follow us on Instagram at @caragreenproducts.

JESSICA:  So again, we will be at Greenbuild in Atlanta. It's at World Congress Center. Our booth is 2032, will be there Wednesday and Thursday with our Sample’s Studio Popup Shop, and we would encourage you to come or if not, as JULIA said, just follow us on Instagram @caragreenproducts or you can always follow us on LinkedIn or just subscribe to our newsletter on our website as well.  This is Build Green Live Green. 

JULIA: This is Julia. 

JESSICA: And Jessica.                                                                                                  

JULIA: See you next week.