Green Stand Award Winners Announced at Meetings Africa 2020

Event Africa Contributor 04/03/2020 Uncategorized

The annual Meetings Africa 2020 Green Stand and Green Hotel Awards seek to recognise the most sustainable exhibitors and partner hotels at this flagship event, in line with South African Tourism’s (SA Tourism) efforts to make the show a sustainable one.

The stands are judged against criteria developed by the Event Greening Forum, a non-profit organisation promoting sustainable event practices, and includes assessing the stand design, materials, operations, transport, communication, beyond green efforts (such as social impact) and innovative solutions.

All exhibitors are automatically entered into the judging of the Green Stand Awards and can improve their chances of winning this coveted title by submitting a written motivation explaining why their stand is green.

The assessment for these awards includes whether the exhibitors can demonstrate knowledge about greening principles and the practical implementation of these in their stand. The panel of judges included professionals with event and greening experience, as well as an independent moderator. 

In the small stand category, the 2020 winner is the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and the runner up is ONOMO Hotels. Both have re-used their stands over a few years and offered guests digital collateral rather than printed brochures. The CTICC also recycled previous banners into gift bags for stand visitors.

The winner for the medium size stand category is the Uganda Convention Bureau and the runner up is the forum. Both stands used untreated wood and re-usable tension stretch fabric in the stand construction. The Uganda Convention Bureau also opted to use potted plants instead of cut flowers.

For the large stand category, the winner is Century City Conference Centre and Hotel and the runner up is Cape Town and Western Cape Convention Bureau (WESGRO). The WESGRO stand is fully built with Xanita Board, an eco-friendly material, while Century City have repurposed materials from Meetings Africa stands for the last five years. They also store the stand in Johannesburg to eliminate the need to transport it between shows.

Grace Stead, a sustainability consultant and one of the Green Stand Award judges, said, “It was great to see so many African exhibitors stepping up to the challenge this year, in terms of greening their stands. This made the judging process highly competitive.”

She added, “Over the years we have definitely seen a growing awareness and willingness to act on sustainable issues. We want to encourage everyone to keep up the good work. In terms of where there is scope for improving next year, I’d recommend exhibitors reduce or eliminate the printed materials on their stands, and look for opportunities to involve their local communities when it comes to gifting.”

Every year, SA Tourism hosts buyers from around the world to attend Meetings Africa. Sustainability is one of the factors considered when selecting partner hotels to accommodate their guests. The Green Hotel Award recognises the hotels that best embrace sustainability principles. The 2020 winner is The Maslow Hotel and the runner up is the Sandton Sun Hotel.

The adjudication this year included surprise visits to the hotels to determine if their staff are aware of their greening efforts. The judges were encouraged that the staff were knowledgeable and aware of the sustainability interventions at these venues, including managing waste, water reduction and energy efficiency. The Maslow Hotel also has a worm farm and food garden on its property.  

Congratulations to all the Green Stand and Green Hotel Award winners!