How Exhibitors Stick to Their Trade Show Budget

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Trade shows allow companies to meet their target audience face-to-face. But how do you pull off an impactful trade show within your budget?

Trade shows have become a critical part of many businesses’ marketing budget, especially since it is the only marketing medium that allows companies to meet their target demographic face-to-face. In fact, according to a study published by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 83% of exhibitors would increase or maintain the amount spent on their trade show booths, as well as plan on spending more money on their digital marketing efforts (social media, mobile, their own websites, and online ads).

Related Article7 Awesome Trade Show Displays

When determining your budget for any upcoming trade show or convention, there are many factors to take into consideration other than just the design of your exhibit. Trying to stay within a set budget can seem like a daunting task, but with these tips, it will be much easier than you think.

1. Make a List

The first thing you need to do is make a list of all of the expenses that will need to be covered for the show. Some things to consider are:

  • Travel expenses (hotel reservations, car rentals, gas, etc.)
  • Giveaways
  • Booth Size
  • Shipping and logistics
  • How many employees will be manning the booth
  • Show services
  • Pre-show promotions

As you begin setting your budget and preparing for the upcoming event, take this number into account – 40%. According to the Trade Show Institute, this is the percentage of your entire budget that will be used for exhibit space and design. By creating a detailed list of all of the expenses you will need to pay for the event in order to give you a better understanding of how large your budget will need to be.

2. Be Realistic

In a perfect world, we could have a 30 x 50 custom display and high-end giveaways without spending a lot, but this isn’t a perfect world. If you don’t have the means to have a large booth, expensive marketing products, etc., then don’t. Spend only what is comfortable you and your company.

Related ArticleHow Successful Exhibitors Reach and Connect With Their Target Audience

3. Plan Early

Many events offer early-bird specials, which could save you a huge amount of money on your booth space. Also, if you order your booth and set up your shipping time early enough, you will be able to avoid any rush fees or other unplanned charges. When it comes to exhibiting, it pays to be a great planner!

4. Cut Costs Where You Can

There are plenty of areas where you can cut costs and stick to your budget. For example, if you are worried about the cost of a booth, rent one. Trade show display rentals have the same look as if you were to purchase a brand-new one, yet costs a fraction of the price. Graphics can also be added to rental displays. Another area where you could cut costs are your marketing materials.

Instead of spending money on expensive brochures and literature that will end up getting tossed in the trash anyway, go with digital copies. Offer to send attendees emails with brochures and other materials attached to it or have QR codes scattered throughout your booth for attendees to easily scan with their phone and get all of the information they need. If you think really hard and use a little creativity, there are numerous ways you will be able to cut down on some of your trade show costs.

5. Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room

Inevitably there are bound to be costs that show up that you did not expect. The only way to prepare for that is to work some miscellaneous money into your budget. By having a little spare money available, you will be able to relax a little easier when you are hit with an unexpected fee.
How do you create your trade show or marketing budget?

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