I am often asked, “how can I expand my green building business?” And I have offered the same response for more than a decade – attend the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (.. yes, you will have to talk with people while you are there).
This year Greenbuild is in Chicago from November 14 thru 16.
I do not claim any particular business marketing expertise. But Greenbuild has been a prime source of new clients for my sustainability and green building law practice (.. okay, this blog is actually our number one source of new clients, but Greenbuild is second)!
I have attending a lot of Greenbuilds. Actually my 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 had only 450 people in attendance. While attendance in recent years is off a bit from the huge Greenbuild the first time the conference was in Boston in 2008, with 27,995 attendees (.. that was a party!), last year the 24,731 attendees in Boston dwarfed the first Greenbuild in 2002 when a mere 4,189 people gathered in Austin.
Those 24,731 attendees last year were from 96 countries, despite the internationalization of LEED and several worldwide Greenbuild expos including in India, Mexico, Germany and China.
Greenbuild attracts all types of wild things. Last year 28% of those in Boston were from architecture or engineering firms, 15% were utilities, 11% were contractors and builders and 8% were manufacturers, not to mention the very large numbers of professionals offering services and consulting, including, yes, a respectable assemblage of real estate attorneys.
And Greenbuild is sustainable. My favorite fact reported by Informa Exhibitions (.. USGBC sold Greenbuild some years ago) is that each participant produced 5.7 lbs. of waste (of which more than 90% was diverted). And if that number does not excite you, Informa tracked and reported the alternative fact that total water footprint of the event was 7,272,158 gallons.
Last year there were 703 exhibitors on the 169,000 square feet Expo Floor. It is all but impossible not to encounter new vendors and innovative suppliers. Educational activities abound with more than 200 formal sessions.
Those 2017 demographics are proof that Greenbuild is the largest green building gathering each year and unquestionably the par excellence opportunity for networking among “green people” and the best place for networking is the Expo Floor.
Greenbuild 2018 in Chicago will be “the” target rich environment for green people this year. It is your chance to not only rub elbows with USGBC CEO Mahesh Ramanujam, the man to know, but also the thousands of others who make a living in the environmental industrial complex.
It is just over 50 days until this once a year opportunity to enlarge your green building business.
For those who will complain that this blog post is shameless promotion, that may be true, but it is also correct that Greenbuild has been a prime source of new clients for my law practice for more than a decade! LEED is still where it is at in green building. It has become all but a spiritual movement, with more than 94,000 registered and certified projects participating in LEED across 165 countries and territories. Every day, 2.4 million square feet of building space certifies to LEED. I won’t promise you will meet your next spouse among one of the more than 14,000 individual USGBC members, but if you want to benefit from that business volume, you should be at Greenbuild.
As a reader of my blog, if you email me before Greenbuild, I will gladly buy you a cup of coffee or other libation at a Chicago watering hole. I made a similar offer last year and had a great time meeting a lot of very fun people for drinks in Boston. I hope to see you in Chicago in November.