1. What is a Sustainability Showcase & Expo ?
Sustainability showcases bring together groups and individuals who aim to make the world healthier on all dimensions– social, environmental, and economic. Organizers provide a venue for groups to present their ideas, insights and projects and for interested community members to learn how they can become more involved in the broader effort toward creating sustainable communities. Green Festival (http://www.greenfestivals.org/) is the biggest environmental expo and takes place in multiple cities around the country. Expos often start on a small-scale and grow every year, combining fun and educational activities and products around a common theme, such as a green home and garden show or a green wedding show.
We won’t lie. Running a showcase and expo is a tremendous amount of work, and the financial rewards are not terrific. Setting up an operation like this would be best as an off-shoot of another existing entity, like a business directory, a magazine, a radio station, or even a municipality. That way, the first show you do will be great PR for your other business, and you won’t be necessarily relying on it for your living. Alternatively, if this is simply your passion (bringing people together in a very public, educational kind of way), this business can be highly rewarding on a personal level.
2. What knowledge or skills are necessary?
Planning a showcase requires organizational skills as well a strong design philosophy. You must have a strong sense for the mission of the event before you begin: What is the goal of the showcase? Who are the participants/audience?
This business is ideally suited for those who want to have a part-time job (or as the offshoot operation mentioned above). You will need to work with participants to lease out spaces within your showcase and organize the event, but not need to be involved year-round.
3. How much money is required to start?
$-$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
4. What is the income potential?
$-$$ (on a scale of $ to $$$$$)
5. What is the best location for a sustainability expo?
The best location for an expo is a major metropolitan city or a community with significant interest in sustainability. Ensure your site is easily accessible through public transport.
6. Best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):
Do you enjoy planning and organizing events?
Do you work well with other people in your community?
Are you in a position where you can work on this business full-time on a seasonal basis, where other parts of the year won’t produce revenues or require much work on your part?
Are you good at managing cash flow so you can track and collect exhibitor fees and cover your expenses?
Interested in starting one in your community? Where do you begin? What permits do you need? Who is your target customer? How do you find them? What is the best use of your limited advertising dollars? What’s the best way to attract a great employee or volunteer? What does an average day look like? What strategic tips do veteran eco-entrepreneurs suggest for startups like you?
There’s a lot to think about. Rest easy. Our mission is to help you succeed, so drop us a line (Info@GreenBusinessVillage.com). We’ll get you a business planning document to get you on your way for ONLY $199! We also guarantee our work, so if you are not satisfied, you get your money back!*
Take a look at a sample table of contents and a few sample excerpts from similar plans here. In essence, we’ll provide you the What, When, Where, and How…you provide the Who!
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