Trade Show Budgeting Breakdown

You’ve decided to go.  Now how much to show?

So you’ve done your homework. You’ve determined the key messaging and capabilities you want to promote in your booth with input from management and sales. Good for you.  But now you’re responsible for controlling costs.  Yikes!  No worries.

Follow this practical guideline to help you put together a detailed budget:

  • Exhibit space (33%)
    Where your booth is located on the show floor is important not only for visibility – but for costs. Consider footprints needed for product displays, meeting areas and open space that can make your booth feel more inviting.
  • Staff travel/lodging (15%)
    Determine what expertise and how many people you need to meet your trade show objectives.  Factor in travel and lodging and set a budget for customer entertainment if possible.
  • Show services (15%)
    This includes a long list of costs from drayage to I&D to carpet installation to floral rental.  Labor costs vary from market-to-market and union rules may impact installation procedures and hourly rates.
  • Shipping costs (4%)
    Transporting your trade show display can be complex. Be sure to review the exhibitor’s kit to know the dates and deadlines for shipping to and from the show.
  • Exhibit property (12%)
    This budget allocation assumes you use your booth six times (twice a year for three years). Consider all of the shows where you’ll be exhibiting and how you can repurpose each part of your booth for repeat visits and additional shows.
  • Exhibit graphic design and production (10%)
    Think through your graphics to find ways to re-use them in at least two shows per year.  Also, plan to partially change out your graphics annually to refresh your booth; look for economical ways to customize them for specific industries.
  • Promotional activities (6%)
    Investing in pre-show marketing through print and online advertising, e-mail campaigns and social media can enhance your trade show investment.  Also consider costs for booth hand outs and post-show follow up.
  • Miscellaneous (5%)
    Oh no!  We need a display sign here.  We need more handouts for this product.  Making this a line item in your budget covers those little surprises that can really add up.

Taking the time to think through the details and logistics that go into a successful trade show will help you control costs – and reduce your stress.

Let us help you with your next trade show, we offer complete show services, contact World Class Graphics & Displays today.

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