On March 26th through March 28th we participated as a partner, vendor, and an exhibitor at Green Fest at the Indiana State Fair Grounds. The purpose of the event was to exchange ideas and address the important changes we need to make in our homes, businesses, and communities to become a more sustainable community. In its first year, the event brought various types of businesses ranging from retailers bring green and wellness focused products, to non-profit organizations and other local businesses that are highlighting their eco-friendly business practices. The event was highlighted by a presentation from Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, as well as green guru and TV personality, Sara Snow.
Being in it’s first year, I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from the event and how well it fit as a forum to bring attention to our business. With printing not being commonly perceived as the most green type of business, I prepared myself to be challenged from the attendees of how green could a printer really be. What I found from talking with people from all types of businesses and backgrounds is that they were very surprised with the progress that has been made in the printing industry in a very short time. From our chain of custody paper purchasing certifications, to use of soy and vegetable-based inks, solvent reduction, and recycling efforts, attendees were very curious on our process and what the future held for printing. All the interactions were very positive, and in the interest of improving their knowledge of green printing practices.
The partnership and experience with Green Fest brought several lessons to be applied. The first is that we need to participate in more events that allow us to highlight the advantages of our products and services outside our normal comfort zone. Secondly, there is no substitution for the one-on-one personal interaction. I took away a wealth of knowledge from people I chatted with, and hopefully they walked away with a better understanding of what us in print our hoping to achieve. What I was surprised by the most was the dedication and quest for knowledge that the exhibitors and the attendees had for creating a sustainable and better Indy. It was very evident from the beginning that these area businesses and individuals were planning on directing business towards those that are like-minded and responsible businesses. The knowledge from the interactions further fuels our resolve to becoming an ever improving corporate citizen. I also walked away with a couple of new clients, which was the icing on the cake of a great overall experience.