Greenbuilders, your favorite show is headed to Boston. The combined Greenbuild International Expo and Conference/ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) draws in professionals from all ends of the building and construction industry. This year, the show will be held November 8-10 at the Boston Convention Center. It anticipates more than 25,000 attendees to join together for the largest building event in the Northeast.
I picked show Director Lindsay Roberts’ brain on some of this year’s features and highlights and what nuggets attendees need to know.
Sarah Cimarusti (SC): This show is always a big one. What should first-time attendees look forward to?
Lindsay Roberts (LR): A LOT! There is so much going on during the week of Greenbuild. First-timers should take advantage of the conference program at Greenbuild, the key events (plenaries and celebration) and plan to spend a significant amount of time on the show floor. I would highly encourage all attendees — not just first-time attendees — to schedule out their days to ensure they get to experience it all.
SC: What are some new or anticipated informational sessions or workshops you would like to highlight?
LR: With over 200 sessions taking place for Greenbuild, that’s a tall order, but here are a few to note:
SC: I’m really excited to learn that Neil deGrasse Tyson will be the closing speaker this year. What were the thoughts behind this selection? Any word on who will be opening?
LR: We are so excited to have Neil deGrasse Tyson, too! He is an amazing, dynamic speaker and is highly respected in his field of astrophysics and will be speaking on how science validates climate change, and we feel he’s a fantastic choice to close this year’s show.
We’re working hard on our announcement for the opening plenary and while we can’t announce it yet, it will be a BIG name, and we’re very excited.
SC: What are some of the hot topics and key focus points on the radar this year?
LR: Attendees will see quite a bit on human health and wellbeing again this year in addition to resiliency, materials, water and building performance.
A key focus (that’s also new this year) is the idea for Greenbuild attendees to create their “journey.” We know for many of our attendees, the green building movement transcends their professional lives and spills into their personal lives. It’s a cause that’s close to many, and one they are passionate about. Our marketing campaign this year has been centered around the question: “Why do you Greenbuild?” We want to know the “impact,” or the primary motivator that leads each individual to attend Greenbuild.
The 11 impacts are aligned with LEED rating systems and are also aligned with our conference program tracks, product pavilions and new Applied Learning Areas. This is going to allow our attendees to make their Greenbuild experience very personal this year. They can go on to our website, find the impact they identify with and see education sessions of interest and product pavilions on the show floor and participate in discussions in those areas. It’s quite exciting to roll out this year.
SC: What are some of the most anticipated green tour spots? What are some things attendees who sign up for half-day tours will see in Boston?
LR: There are some fantastic tours we have in store for attendees this year, including MIT, Harvard and Fenway Park. We are offering walking tours, some are utilizing public transportation, some have shuttles, and we also have a boat tour. We have several half-day tours on Monday, Friday and Saturday, and tours are already starting to sell out, so we encourage attendees to register early.
SC: Are there any special events planned for the expo catered to young people?
LR: We have a robust volunteer program that is catered specifically for full-time students/young professions age 25 and under. Volunteers who are willing to give eight hours of service to Greenbuild get a free three-day conference pass and get to fully experience Greenbuild by attending the education program and key events.
SC: Is anything new happening at the expo compared to years past?
LR: Always! Here are a few new highlights:
SC: Are there any special events or promotions would you like to highlight?
LR: One of the highlights of Greenbuild are the key events that take place throughout the week, including the plenaries, celebration featuring The Revivalists at the Boston Museum of Science, the Women in Green Power Breakfast, the Tuesday pre-conference summits (Communities & Affordable Homes, International & Waterbuild).
SC: What are some of the show’s sustainability goals this year?
LR: Sustainability plays a huge role in all that we do, and it is a huge undertaking each year that our team works on for months leading up to the show and months post show. We organize our sustainability goals each year into eight main objectives:
New this year, we’re inviting everyone to get involved in sustainability on-site and commit to one of several pledges when they register. From pledging to bring your own water bottle to taking public transportation/walking while in Boston, it’s important to spread the message that each person can contribute to our overall sustainability goals for Greenbuild, and everyone’s participation counts.
SC: Does Greenbuild have anything already in the works for the 2018 expo?
LR: Yes, though we’re focused on the 2017 event at the immediate moment, we are already starting preliminary planning for our 2018 show in Chicago at McCormick Place.