I was speaking at a breakfast of real estate professionals some days ago and the question I received most frequently from those in attendance was “how can I expand my green building business?” I retell that because it is a variation of the question I get most often these days about green building.

My answer is simple and I offer the same response I have for years, attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. greenbuildsmall

This year Greenbuild is in Washington, DC from November 18 – 20.

I do not claim to have any business marketing expertise, but Greenbuild has been the number one source of new clients for my sustainability and green building law practice!

I have been attending Greenbuild on and off over 12 years. Last year, Greenbuild 2014 was in New Orleans and a far cry from the first U.S. Green Building Council “Green Building Conference” (yes, pre Greenbuild) held in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards in Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1994 which had 450 people in attendance. While attendance is off a bit from the huge Greenbuild in Boston in 2008 with 27,995 attendees, last year dwarfed the first Greenbuild in 2002 when 4,189 people gathered in Austin.

There were 17,507 attendees last year and while 90% were from the U.S., 76 countries were represented. 26% of those attending were from architecture or engineering firms, 13% were contractors and builders, 10% were manufacturers and 7% were utilities, not to mention the very large numbers of professionals offering services and consulting, including, yes, a large assemblage of real estate attorneys.

And Greenbuild is sustainable. USGBC reported all alcohol served in the venues in New Orleans was 100% domestic with emphasis on regionally sourced beverages.

The 2014 demographics are the most recent proof that Greenbuild is the largest green building gathering each year and the best opportunity for networking among “green people.”

In 2013, event company Hanley Wood acquired Greenbuild from USGBC and at the end of 2014 Hanley Wood sold its exhibition businesses, including World of Concrete and Greenbuild, to Informa, a U.K. based publishing and events company, for $375 million.

Last year there were 552 exhibitors on the Expo Floor. It is all but impossible not to encounter new vendors and innovative suppliers. Educational activities abound and there is a lot to learn, I am already looking forward to attending the session, EPDs: State of the Art and Advancement by Industry, where one of the presenters will be Heather Dylla, Director of Sustainable Engineering for the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

Greenbuild 2015 in Washington, DC will be “the” target rich environment for green people this year. So register today.

It is only 71 days until this once a year opportunity to expand your green building business.

And for those who will complain that this blog post is shameless promotion of USGBC, that may be true, but it is also correct that Greenbuild has been the number one source of new clients for my sustainability and green building law practice!

Having fun is also part of the Greenbuild experience. As a reader of this blog, if you email me before Greenbuild, I will buy you a drink or a cup of coffee at a DC watering hole. (I made a similar offer last year and had a great time meeting a lot of very fun people for coffee and beignet at Café Du Monde.) I hope to see you in DC on November 18.