4 Trade Show Budgeting Tips for Small Businesses

Trade shows are an excellent way for businesses to build a network and connect with their target customer base. But participating in a trade show is often an expensive activity for small businesses. There’s a long list of activities that demand attention when planning for a trade show and it can get tricky to create an accurate budget.

If you’re thinking of exhibiting at an upcoming trade show, here are some helpful budgeting tips to help you save on costs while planning for a successful performance.


  1. Have a Solid Plan

You should create a solid plan for your trade show well in advance to have a correct budget calculation. Prepare a checklist that includes floor space-cost calculation, trade show booth design and installation costs, exhibit display costs, marketing and advertising costs during the various phases of the event, cost per lead, cost of supplies and purchases, etc. You should constantly keep track of all your listed expenses and double check that you’re not exceeding your budget. Keeping track of everything will also help you refer to this checklist for future budgeting.

  1. Book Early

Several organizers often offer early bird discounts when exhibitors book their floor space early. Make sure to take advantage of this. It’s also a good idea to keep exploring your booth opportunities at different locations on the trade show floor. If you feel that a different location could be more beneficial for your exhibit booth at the event, contact the organizer before the booking deadline to check out if you can upgrade your floor location. If space is available, you can still expect to get discounts or even a free upgrade as organizers never want empty floor spaces.

  1. Utilize Free Marketing

Make sure to have a proper social media marketing strategy to promote your participation and boost brand awareness. Cross-promote your event across your social media channels. If you have some friendly co-exhibitors at the show, have a word with them if they’re interested in promoting each other on social media along with the event information. If they agree, you can expect to gain some new followers and prospects in the process.

Another way to make the most of free marketing is to utilize the publicity that the event organizers provide to you. They mainly use social media and send out press releases to promote the event. Give them a detailed description of your company in a way that would appeal to the visitors and which the organizers can include on their website when listing the participants. If you’re participating at the trade show for the first time, don’t hesitate to ask the organizers if they’re creating features for the event promotion. Ask them if they’d be interested in doing a special feature on your company.

  1. Consider Renting Booth Displays

If you have a tight budget, you can consider opting for custom rental displays for the upcoming trade show. Depending on your goal and needs, you can rent trade show displays for a fraction of the price that it would cost you to buy them. Spend on creative props and supplies instead to stand out from the crowd.

These are some of the key factors that you should consider when preparing the budget for your trade show event. For high-quality trade show solutions in Vancouver, contact Exhibit Express at 1-888-594-7333 or write to us at sales@exhibitexpress.ca