r.World debuts reusable r.Cups at world’s largest trade show for natural and organic products.
When nearly 70,000 people walked through the doors of the Anaheim Convention Center for the Expo West Natural Products trade show, they had the potential to create a mountain of single-use trash. Instead, they saved thousands of single-use plastic cups from ending up in landfills, by getting their beverages in reusable r.Cups, made by parent company r.World.
Expo West is filled with sustainability-minded vendors, and New Hope Network, which organizes the show, is working to reduce the show’s own environmental footprint.
“Sustainability is a huge initiative for us,” says Kim Shaw, New Hope Network’s show director. “Trade shows in general have a lot of waste and we wanted to figure out a way to help the community and our environment—so a focus has been eliminating single-use plastics at our events.”
“I always thought r.Cup was such a great idea.”
Kim first used r.Cup herself while enjoying a concert at the Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver. “I’ve seen r.Cup at events here in Colorado,” she says, “and I always thought it was such a great idea.”
“We’d gotten positive feedback from some of our sustainability team members who knew r.Cup from events they’d attended,” says Pamela Skaggs, Senior Director of Operations at Informa Markets, which oversees New Hope Network.
In addition, Honeycomb Strategies, a consulting firm that helps events and venues create more sustainable events, recommended they give r.Cup a try.
“r.Cup was really easy to partner with.”
Organizing a trade show with nearly 70,000 people involves complex logistics. Rolling in new programs can create new road bumps. But the r.Cup initiative went as smoothly as possible.
“r.Cup was really easy to partner with,” says Pamela. She said the r.Cup team helped set them up for success, making sure the entire system—from delivery to return—ran smoothly.
For this first experience with r.Cup, the Expo West team used the reusable cups at the show’s concerts and receptions. They plan to broaden their usage at the next show, hopefully including the vendors and sampling events on the trade show floor.
“It was very well-received.”
For their part, Expo West attendees loved r.Cup.
“We had people commenting on how cool it was at the events,” says Pamela. “ I actually had one of our official show vendors reach out to say they wanted to share the program with another client.”
“Overall, it was very well-received. It’s such a cool idea. We would love to use r.Cup at Expo East.”
“This was our first time working with r.Cup,” says Pamela, “and we’re looking at this as a program we can grow to be even more effective in the future.”