There are many costs associated with trade shows. It is very important to budget and be realistic in projecting those costs related to exhibiting. Calculating all costs will only help determine your return on investment after the trade show is over and those leads become customers.

One of the largest trade show expenses is the display space. You may pay more for prime real estate space on the show floor and you may pay more for larger spaces. Trade Show Week recommends starting with a budget based on your allocated space. They state your business should ball park spending three times the cost of the exhibit space which is usually 10 x 10 square feet.

There are seven factors that encompass how exhibitors spend money: Exhibit space, exhibit design, show services, shipping, travel & entertainment, and other. Since we know that the exhibit space takes up about 1/3 of our budget, we now have 2/3 to work with. The other factors require a lot of time, planning and oversight. If your business lets any of this slip by, know there will be a markup fee to purchase extra show services to be executed in a short amount of time on the day of or before the show begins.

Your display should be eye catching and showcase your merchandise in a way that attracts attendees. This should be an investment piece, one that your business will be using for many years so it is important to remember that and know there will be minor maintenance expenses down the road. All materials for the show including your booth, merchandise, product literature and giveaways should be consolidated early and ready to ship. Make sure to shop around for the best freight price and check to see if any are offering any deals that still get your package to the exhibit hall on time.

Please read your exhibitor manual. There may be new information and costs associated with the show this year that were not in at their past shows. You do not want to get to the show and assume there is a complimentary lead-retrieval scanner or completely forget about needing utilities. If you can think of a service that the show provides, adopt the idea that they will charge for it.

Shop around for best flights, lodging and meal deals for your booth staff. These costs can vary so it is vital to start researching early and booking a deal when you come across one to control costs. Remember, all budgets are subject to change but by planning ahead you allow yourself more time to explore options, establish budget goals, hit those numbers and look forward for the positive return on investment.

JASE Group is ready to help you budget for your upcoming trade shows. Contact us today and let us help you get the most out of your trade show appearances!

Trade Show Budgetimage credit: Tax Credits’ on flickr

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