FAIR CIRCULAR - Together against waste
Towards a more circular approach to fairs and exhibitions

The project Fair Circular by Designregio Kortrijk and Kortrijk Xpo within Flanders Circular aims to tackle the lack of circularity and sustainable use of materials within the sector of commercial fairs and exhibitions.

Within the world of trade fairs and exhibitions, there is still a major problem of material waste worldwide. It is estimated that more than 600,000 tonnes of materials are lost at commercial fairs worldwide every year. Many steps have already been taken, but we still notice that a lot of usable material still ends up in the container, because often 'time is money' applies. Also for exhibitions new materials are still being chosen for the construction of the exhibitions. The existing standard solutions and the lending services for walls, pedestals and showcases are experienced as too boring in a business where creativity, surprise and visual appeal are so important. The reusable frames that have come onto the market in the past decade are being used more and more, but they only offer a partial solution since a material still has to be found to fill the frames.

With this project we want to test a solution in a local context to drastically reduce the waste after an exhibition or fair. Designregio Kortrijk wants to take up the challenge of taking a fully circular approach to the next edition of the Week of Design in October 2019 (stand, exhibition and signage materials), without compromising the visual appeal of our exhibition spaces and materials. We want to achieve this by using usable materials from the waste mountain of commercial fairs in Kortrijk Xpo, by strictly supervising the ecological design of our exhibition scenography so that it can be re-used as much as possible and by afterwards giving the remaining materials a new use through local organisations.

In addition, we want to make the usable waste of Kortrijk Xpo available by organising second-hand market places for manufacturing labs, scenographers, designers, artists, schools, academies and stand builders. We want to investigate to what extent it is possible and economically feasible to systematically make usable waste material available to this community for a limited period of time at the end of each selected fair.

In this way, we want to eliminate the uncertainty and demonstrate that it is logistically possible to make the residual waste accessible and give it a second life in an economically viable way after a trade fair. We are convinced that such a 'marketplace' can provide added value for all stakeholders.

During the project, all experiences and findings will be bundled in a logistics scenario that we will then disseminate within the exhibition world to inspire others to adopt a more circular approach.

As an artist, designer, scenographer, school, fablab, maaklab, ... do you want to help reduce the gigantic waste mountain and give useful waste a second life? Are you interested in being part of the community and being the first to be informed about our marketplaces? Please contact us:

Design region Kortrijk
Lisa Declercq
056 51 91 83

Kortrijk Xpo
Isabelle Fruy
056 24 11 36