10 Tips For A More Sustainable Brand Experience

Sustainable Brand Experience

Ensuring you are marketing in a way that’s not putting pressure on our planet

By James Hurst, Production Manager

The events industry is responsible for producing some of the most creative, technical, and jaw-dropping spectacles across the globe. We’re constantly trying to push the boundaries when it comes to full scale events, festivals, experiential activations, exhibitions, and product sampling campaigns. But this all comes at a cost. Putting together a sustainable brand experience is more difficult than you realise.

Against a backdrop of creative and technological amazement, the events industry is one of the most wasteful, highly polluting, and unsustainable sectors. Opting for a greener brand experience, festival, or event is something we need to consciously choose.

Why We Need To Choose A Greener Brand Experience

Global events involve a huge amount of transportation, delegates flying around the world and the fabrication of kit, often intended to have a single use. On a slightly smaller scale, experiential marketing and brand experiences are largely designed and produced to be relevant to one brand and one campaign.

Free brand giveaways and merchandise are produced in large volumes, as cheaply as possible, before being flown across the world. Materials such as single-use plastic and GRP are used and then discarded once the campaign is over. Power in those hard-to-reach places comes from highly polluting generators. The list goes on…

However, a movement is occurring across the industry, with the main aim of making things a bit more sustainable and a bit kinder to the planet. This is by no means a quick fix, but we can all strive to do our part. Various industry bodies, such as Isla, have popped up to provide guidance and a way of tracking the negative impact we’re making, to prompt and guide us to make more sustainable choices. Production houses are using and re-using materials that were not so long ago on their way to the landfill.

Steps Towards A Green Campaign

So, what steps can we take to produce more sustainable live brand experiences? Here are our top 10 tips:

  1. Use/recycle sustainable materials – think about what materials you’re using. Does it need to be brand new or is something already in existence that can be re-purposed? Can environmentally friendly paint and print techniques be employed? Once the event is over, can any materials be salvaged or recycled for future use, rather than discarding them?
  2. Hire rather than purchasing kit – so there is no requirement to build anything new.
  3. Use local suppliers to reduce travel miles and benefit the local community – with a wide range of skills across the world, the need to ‘shop local’ is greater than ever. There may well be instances where a really niche skillset is required, but where possible, look to support local business for all your event and brand experience needs.
  4. Incorporate digital elements where possible – instead of producing endless print, can digital screens and/or QR codes be used?
  5. Reconsider giveaways/swag – think carefully before investing in physical giveaways. Is someone really going to miss not having that branded bag? Where has it been flown in from? What are the factory working conditions like? Is there a more eco-friendly, sustainable, and useful recycled item? Or could you offer value in other ways, through experiences or via donation-based efforts?
  6. Consider using alternatives to plastic – always question, can a more sustainable alternative be used instead? There are a whole host of recycled and eco-friendly alternative materials out there with more and more being developed all the time.
  7. Avoid using generators – which can often serve a purpose, but is it required? Can solar panels be used instead? Does the experience really need power? Can an alternative site with mains power be accessed?
  8. Employ local staff to minimise travel – it can be easier to run a nationwide/worldwide event with core consistent staff, but what’s the impact of moving that team around the country/world? Can a local team be utilised to the same effect, with minimal transportation?
  9. Draft a waste management plan – well in advance so you know what can be recycled, re-used, or recovered – limiting waste sent to landfill.
  10. Track your impact – through an efficient measurement tool such as TRACE, in order to set goals during the planning phase, review your impact and ultimately, aim to reduce your carbon footprint.

At Sense, we produce a wide range of highly creative and effective experiential marketing campaigns and whilst we’re not perfect, we are committed to making sure we’re offering sustainable brand experiences and campaigns, where possible. We work hard alongside our carefully selected production suppliers to make sure we’re advising our clients as best as we can. We’re constantly seeking out new eco-friendly materials and production methods and we’re a member of Isla – so that we can be held to account with each and every project we deliver.

Get in touch to see how we can help your brand communicate to as many people as possible, as sustainably as possible.


5th Floor Century House
100 Oxford Street

New York

243 E 14th St,
#2, New York,
NY, 10003

Discover our latest guides to help brighten your brand experience strategy or amplify your shopper marketing moves. Get them here at The Futures Lab.


5th Floor Century House
100 Oxford Street

New York

243 E 14th
#2 C/O SQ
New York
NY 10003


Discover our latest guides to help brighten your brand experience strategy here at The Future Lab

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Whether it be Festivals, Trade Shows, PR Stunts, Installations or Pop Ups to name a few, we believe brand experiences are one of the most powerful forms of marketing to impact consumer perception and attitude towards a brand. They can create real behaviour change when born out of a deep consumer insight allied to a compelling idea. And it’s these fundamentals we look to get right whatever the live, virtual or hybrid task in hand.


Sampling is all too often perceived as an unsophisticated, somewhat ‘blunt’ marketing tool. Over the last 16 years Sense has pioneered a set of strategic principles which underpin our unique approach to sampling and which are highly measurable from both an ROI and consumer behaviour change perspective. We will happily guide brands through the myriad of sampling channels and products available so whether it’s mass face to face sampling, in offices, digitally, at home or just a strategic framework that you are after, we can provide a blend of tactics to fulfil both brand and sales objectives.


With many clients now focused on activating in channels more closely associated with a sale, our heavyweight retail experience closes the loop on a typical shopper journey by encompassing the moment of truth in store. Be it prize promotions, shopper toolkits, key visual creation, path-to-purchase communications, category strategy, B2B campaigns or Amazon optimisation, our goal is to create forward-thinking retail experiences that deliver demonstrable brand value. We aim to make ‘retail fail’ a thing of the past for ambitious brands looking to thrive is an ever-competitive landscape and believe our streamlined team is perfectly placed to do this.


Knowing what will keep a brand bright, exciting, and vital means we need to keep one step ahead of the curve. Our thought leadership hub, The Futures Lab, helps us to understand the marketing trends of tomorrow. It’s also the origin of strategies and methodologies which have created over 65 award-winning campaigns. 


Creativity is nothing without results. And we know that commissioning bold concepts, capable of changing minds, requires reassurance that it’s the right thing to do. 

Data, insights, and research precedes every campaign we do, and our proprietary measurement tool, EMR, gives us a decade of campaign performance metrics. Which is why we’re proud to have been recognised as industry-leading by brands like The Economist, Coca-Cola, and Molson Coors. 


We believe brand experience is inherently more varied than other forms of marketing. No formula, no template, no cookie-cutter approach – and often no precedent. 

That’s why, Sense places trust at the heart of its business – grounded in teamwork between our people and yours. Our processes are efficient, our senior team stay involved and our partnership mentality had helped us sustain powerful client relationships, some lasting over 10 years.