Monday, December 7, 2009

A Sign of the Times

I have talked a lot about the reuse of signage and how important it is. Traditionally this means donating the signs to schools or theatre for other projects. Here's one I hadn't thought of...

The Final Night Party during SuperComputing '09 at Portland's Performing Arts Center had several different areas for food and beverage. The planning committee came up with the idea of naming these areas after prestigious colleagues one of them being the "Ken Kennedy Pub" and the signs were made. This pub served microbrews and a variety of wonderful food. Folks had a great time with the name.

During the event, several people from Ken Kennedy's university, Rice, asked if they could have the signs after the event. They thought it would be cool if they could be hung somewhere at Rice - they knew Ken would have loved that. So off they went. We just learned that one sign is destined for the Rice grad student bar and the other will find a home somewhere in the Ken Kennedy Institute (, founded by Ken as the Computer and Information Technology Institute in the late '80s).

Now that is reuse at it's finest!


Anonymous said...

Re-use trumps, recycling! This is a great, and fun, example of better thinking. Signage, for most events it seems, continues to be an area of opportunity to reduce cost and waste.
Planners taking advantage of the MeetGreen toolkit know that planning to re-use signs is a way to improve event sustainability performance.

Fantastic that the 2009 GMIC event in Denver will feature a social action to support an organization which converts event signage material to other products!

What other resources exist to improve the donation of event materials as part of a waste reduction and social responsibility initiative? For more about the discussion and sharing of best practices, please check out:

thanks, again, Nancy for great ideas, insights and practical tips!

michael luehrs

Nancy J. Zavada, CMP said...

We just had another great example of reuse yesterday. EclipseCon used decks of cards for a networking game involving over 1000 people. The cards were broken up into five card hands and rubber banded. At the end of the event, we collected the cards and found a home for them at a local school with a developmentally disabled program. The teacher called me yesterday telling us how much the students were enjoying working with the cards. Having them resort the cards first by color and then by number (even taking off the rubber bands)was great learning from her perspective. They then built a huge house of cards and knocked it all down to start again. They will get a lot of reuse!