Interview with Toronto’s Green Living Show Director

This is the first time I’ve decided to do an interview on Air Eater, most likely  not the last, so I thought it fitting to interview the Director of Events for the Green Living Show. The show takes place in Toronto, Ontario on the CNE grounds in the Direct Energy Exhibition Place. There are two parts to the show: 1) Consumers and 2) Green Living Business Forum and Innovation Exhibit

The Consumer portion has some pretty neat attractions:
 I’m excited to see vegan companies and I really am curious about new green products over all.  There will also be speakers talking about what else – green related topics.

2012 TICKET PRICES

Adults   $15.00
Seniors (65+)   $11.00
Students (with valid photo ID)   $11.00
Children 12 and under   Free; must be accompanied by an adult
Group Rate (15+ persons)   $10.00/person
School Group Rate (10+ students/teachers)   $6.00/person

2012 SHOW HOURS

Friday, April 13, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, April 15, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

FREE admission if you bring electronic waste to be recycled. Click HERE for a list of acceptable waste items.

 

Without further adieu, here is my interview with Robert Orlovski, Green Living Show Director

 

With the intention of the show, to feature the greenest companies/products or services in Canada how was the decision made to include vegan companies to the mix? Was there a popular demand by the attendees? Yes, we found while collecting feedback from our previous shows that more and more people coming to the show were looking for vegan options. We actually began seeking out and recruiting the best vendors we could find and personally inviting them to the Show. The Farm Fresh Fare the ever popular local food extravaganza that we put on now must have a handful of vegan options. More and more of our attendees are realizing the going vegan is not only a healthy option, but also good for the environment. 

 

How does the show select who is a vendor? Is it all monetary selection – whoever can pay can participate? Do you check for “Green Washing”  Not at all actually. We have three Green Living representatives actually searching the marketplace for exhibitors, it’s what we refer to as a “recruitment process” meaning that our vendors are invited to participate. Any vendors who applies goes through our Green Living proprietary green screening process. We have a team of researchers who collect data on each exhibitor, interview them when necessary and create a profile — we look at product, packaging, operations, supply chain, employee engagement, community giving etc. We even have members of our board of directors walk the floorplan each year to make sure that all of the exhibitors have brought what they committed to bring and nothing else. It’s a long process, but it ensures that people who come to the Green Living Show can rely on what they have found there. 

 

The show itself is incredibly green, from badges made of PLA plastic, to 100% recycled PET carpets, was it hard to source such products? Is this option easily availble to other shows? Its probably easier for us than it is for other shows: we live in the ‘green’ space,it’s all we do so, we tend to get information on new and innovative products and services quicker. This helps us to continuously improve on our green initiatives. At times its more expensive, but in other areas we save as we reuse as much from year to year as possible. I think the option is available for other shows to green their event but as they say, “old habits are hard to break”.

What do you think the future of green prodcuts looks like in the mainstream market? More or less innovative products? More innovative and less expensive. More and more companies are realizing that not having some stated and measurable commitment to the environment is no longer possible, it’s a business imperative — people ask and notice. It’s great for the consumer because more competition means better products and lower prices! 

 

How do you track the demographics of your attendees? Will the question of “are you vegan” be on the ballot? We conduct surveys in a variety of ways, though “are you vegan”, will likely not be on the ballot. We have such a limited amount of time to interact with our visitors and unfortunately, many important questions get left out. We do have a comment box at the Show and we take people’s feedback very seriously, in fact, that’s how we realized we needed to get more vegan options into the Show.

 

Do you think green living easily lends itself to veganism? That to live truely green veganism is the logical next step? Green Living supports any and all kinds of personal green initiatives, veganism being among the key expressions of one’s desire to go green. We’re here to help people find the solutions that are right for them. Some are further along in the process and others are just getting started. Where ever people are on the spectrum, Green Living’s goal is to help them keep moving forward and find new and exciting ways to go green.
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3 Comments

Filed under Trade show, vegan

3 Responses to Interview with Toronto’s Green Living Show Director

  1. Very cool. I like the vegan connection, and it makes me more excited to be volunteering at the festival tomorrow!

    Great interview!

  2. Did not know the GLS had a specific strategy to include Vegan exhibitors! Delighted to learn this – very forward thinking of them. As a business committed to environmental sustainability and social hiring, we felt this show was a good fit for our brand, and of course we are just thrilled to be a first time vendor. Will let you know what we (as a vendor) think of the show in a few days!

    • aireater

      Glad you liked the interview Seema. Please do let me know what you think of being on the vendor side. Hope they treat you well.

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