Trade shows are no doubt probably one of the greatest marketing tools available for businesses. However, participating in a trade show requires investment of various resources, primary of which is money. Though the benefits reaped via trade shows are enormous, the costs involved are also no less. This calls for immaculate planning for participation in one or more trade shows that take place. While planning a trade show, it is most important to factor in the costs that will be incurred on that account. This makes planning ahead of time very important.
Trade shows happen all through the year. You have to decide the ones that are best for you and offer maximum brand visibility. In case of small or medium enterprises it is not economically viable to be present in every trade show, but one can select the shows that offer maximum advantage to your business. After you have decided on the number of shows, the next step is to create a budget so that you get most ROI. Here are a few tips that will help you budget your trade show expenses and ensure that you get highest returns.
- Most trade shows are scheduled and planned at least a year ahead by the organizers. You can book yourself way ahead of time and avail of early bird discounts. The cost of booths rises as the date of event draws closer. This way you can save by booking early.
- You can order your supplies, products, etc. that you plan to display or demonstrate in your trade show exhibit beforehand and avail discounts on that front as well.
- You will have ample time to receive your supplies and time lags in case any will not be a problem. Getting inventory delivered in the nick of time can be stressful as well as expensive. Also there won’t be much for you to do in case of damages and you can call in for replacements.
- Break up your costs into how much you would be spending for booking the place, displays, furnishings, pre-show promotion, free gifts or samples, putting up the booth and bringing it down, food and refreshments, etc. You can also include staffing costs if you are hiring some special personnel specifically for the trade show.
- If you are participating in several shows in a year, then it is a good idea to invest in good quality displays, banner stands, pop-ups, pull up banners, table top displays, etc. This investment would also include graphics that portray your brand or tag line. Though you can continue using the same stuff, make sure that it does not get monotonous and predictable, making it important for you to re-invest and get new displays done.
- Keep a provision for cost escalations and unforeseen expenditures while planning ahead of the event.
So here you are with an idea to where to start from. Paying attention to these minor but essential aspects while creating a trade show budget will help you prepare monetarily for the event and let you assess your inflow as compared to the outflow of resources.