Exhibitions are an expensive part of your marketing budget, so it is important to make sure you put the right steps in place to get a good return on investment and make sure your stretch your exhibition budget as far as it can go!

Start with an exhibition budget plan and make sure you include all of the elements (there are lots of them).  If you have an itemised list and assign costs based on historical events and new quotations, you will hopefully have a pretty accurate idea of the overall cost.  Once you have a budget you can set your objectives and how you are going to gain the ROI you need to make your exhibitions successful.

Stretching a Budget

Here is an exhibition budget example of the items you need to budget for– it may not be an exhaustive list but it will give you an idea of the elements you need to have on your budget.

Exhibition and Event Itinerary

  • Floor SpaceDisplay Stand
  • Installation and breakdown
  • On site services (Electrics, flooring, water and waste, Audiovisual, furniture, plants and decorations, data scanners etc)
  • Marketing materials
  • Travel costs and hotels inc. food costs
  • Storage of display after the exhibition

You may just do one exhibition a year or a number of shows of different sizes but either way once you have your overall annual budget, it’s important to make sure you stretch that budget as far as you can.

Here’s 10 ways to stretch your trade show budget:

  1. Make sure you go to the right shows – the ones that give you a good ROI, make sure you look at the shows reputation and target audience to ensure it matches yours, look at their visitor numbers and how many of those visitors have buying power. Think about the show location and the logistics involved before committing.
  2. Invest in a modular reconfigurable displays that can be re-used for all your shows – get your stand designer to design for longevity. There are a number of reusable displays in the marketing – make sure you choose a high-quality display that will last, that can be repurposed and reconfigured across all of your events.
  3. Carefully consider your giveaways and marketing materials – think about wastage –could you send something to the most interested after the show?
  4. Think about your staff – can more local staff man the stand to avoid travel costs? Don’t have an excessive amount of people on your stand, have the best people on your stand to make it pay! Train your staff well before the event to get the best from them.
  5. Look at shipping costs carefully. Choosing lightweight and portable displays can save you money regardless if you’re hiring someone for transporting exhibition equipment or transporting and building it yourself.
  6. Plan ahead and order early – there are often early bird offers at events you can take advantage of.