A successful trade show one that earns a definite return on the investment requires lots of careful planning. A centerpiece of that plan is the actual budget. Too many first time exhibitors make the critical mistake of improper budgeting, simply because they do not realize all of the elements. There is much more to a comprehensive trade show exhibit budget than meets the eye. In order to stay within budget and avoid all the would-be pitfalls, let s take a closer look at some line items that must be considered in a proper trade show budget:
Space Rental: The location of your booth is a very important consideration. Booths vary in cost, based on both size, and location within the show. Consult the trade show handbook or kit that is distributed by the show sponsor for these variable costs.
Trade Show Display: Based upon the goals you have for the show and your marketing message, you should decide sensibly on the design and fullness of your exhibit. Choose a trade show display supplier that seeks to build a long term relationships, and will therefore make recommendations that have your best interests in mind.
Shipping: The transport of your trade show display is complex and once again, you should consult your exhibitor s handbook in order to know dates and deadlines for shipping to and from the show, in addition to other useful transport information. Here again, a long-term association with a trade show supplier is a valuable resource for shipping matters.
Personnel: It is easy to overlook one or more aspect of staffing your trade show booth. These matters begin in advance of the show, and extend to during and after the event.
Promotional Expenses: Another vital aspect of the overall trade show plan is the marketing and promotion of the trade show event. The promotional marketing is a separate plan in itself, within the trade show master plan.
Lead gathering and fulfillment: This is usually done during and post-show. This is yet another expense that can be easily overlooked.
At the show/on-site services: Depending upon the sponsorship of the event, some of these costs could be covered with your entry fee into the show. Even so, it is a wise choice to budget for on-site services and contingencies.
Clearly it is easy to see from this listing of budgetary items that there are lots of expenses to consider. Proper planning for all of these costs will help you to have a very successful trade show that ultimately realizes the projected return on your trade show investment. Even so, it is also a good idea to add a small percentage as a cushion for the unforeseen.