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The New Zealand stand at the AIME trade show in mid-February set a benchmark for a more sustainable future.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager NZ & Business Events Bjoern Spreitzer says New Zealand’s business events professionals wore Tiaki T-shirts at AIME, and that ethos was echoed in the exhibition stand itself.
“Tiaki means to care for people, place and culture, and within that lies a strong sustainability message. It’s important that we walk the talk on this. This was our most sustainable stand to date, and we’ve got plans to reduce, reuse and recycle our exhibition footprint every time Tourism New Zealand shows up at these trade events.
“We showcased New Zealand’s natural beauty and sustainability credentials as part of our destination’s appeal, so we’ve got to be committed to protecting and progressing those.”

Initiatives included offsetting the carbon emissions for international flights for every New Zealand partner on the stand. The stand design and build utilised local crews, warehousing, printing and production to minimise the transport emissions generated.

The stand construction itself was designed in conjunction with Tourism New Zealand’s long-standing exhibition partner, Auckland-based Peek Exhibition.
David Ross, Sales & Marketing Manager at Peek Exhibition Ltd, says: “Exhibition stands are designed to be temporary structures, thus historically can have a very short lifespan and can create a large amount of waste. This is a big step towards improving sustainability at these events.”

Tourism New Zealand’s sustainable stand initiatives included: 

  • Flooring – The wood-based hired flooring can be reused for other customers and purposes over a number of years. Once damaged or deemed unsuitable for purpose, the flooring sheets are cut up and repurposed for items such as floor and wall packers. The aluminium floor edging is also a hired product, cut in modular lengths so the same lengths can be used multiple times.
  • Walls – Existing aluminium Aluvision hire wall frames of different sizes and shapes were used to achieve the stand structure, without creating waste from bespoke custom wood walls. Once used by TNZ, these walls go back into hire stock to be used by others again and again. Similarly, the counter frames, trusses and banner rigging are fabricated using hired aluminium frames and post and rail systems.
  • Video walls – Video was shown on hired LED tiles on an aluminium hire truss, projecting digital content which reduces the need for more printed graphics. Tourism New Zealand is striving to use LED low usage AV screens and electrical products.
  • Graphic substrates – All graphics are either printed on recycled dispa brand board or repeat use fabric graphics and banners. Tourism New Zealand was also the first exhibitor to use a new product from Textiles Alive based in Tauranga, which prints to a fabric made from recycled polyester fabrics, which, through an alternative production process, can go to landfill as a biodegradable product. Other non-biodegradable fabrics used are processed into two high-quality recycled materials; rPET and Powdered Cellulose, materials which can be repurposed for other industries such as textiles, food packaging and pharmaceuticals. All printing uses non solvent-based eco inks.
  • Furniture – On stand furniture were all pre-used hire stock, which will be returned and reused many times over; a far more sustainable alternative to purchasing or fabricating custom furniture.
  • Overhead banners – The stand reused existing banners, which can be reused for garden centre weed mat or similar at the end of their life.

 Tourism New Zealand’s Bjoern Spreitzer says: “This stand feeled more aligned with how New Zealand represents itself on the world stage.”


Tourism New Zealand’s dedicated Business Events team provides strategic funding and support to attract conferences and incentives to New Zealand. For more information on holding a business event in New Zealand, visit

Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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