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Trade Show Budgeting Considerations

tradeshow-budgetingA 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.

    • If renting, what is that expense?
    • What is the purchase price?
    • Are there additional design costs?
    • Graphics design and production?
    • Shipping preparation?
    • Taxes on materials?
    • Storage?
    • Insurance?

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.

    • Ground shipping to the show or advance warehouse?
    • Ground shipping from the show?
    • Air or sea transport to and from the show?
    • Show to show shipping?
    • Customs costs?
    • Other handling?

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.

    • Salaries (and bonuses) of employees/staffing?
    • Staff training?
    • Pre-show dinner?
    • Staff attire/clothing/uniforms?
    • Transportation?
    • Hotel?
    • Food and entertainment?
    • Miscellaneous staffing?

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.

    • Advertising?
    • Hospitality/courting customers?
    • Direct mail campaigns?
    • Giveaways during the show?
    • Kiosk space?
    • Brochures and literature?
    • Mailing list/email list rental?
    • o Presentation production?
    • Press conference?
    • Press kits?
    • Sponsorships?

Lead gathering and fulfillment: This is usually done during and post-show. This is yet another expense that can be easily overlooked.

    • Letter printing?
    • Labor?
    • Lead forms?
    • Card reader rental?
    • Postage?

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.

    • Audio visual services?
    • First aid and tool kit?
    • Carpet rental and removal?
    • Cleaning?
    • Computer equipment rental?
    • Custom signage?
    • Drayage?
    • Exhibitor badges?
    • Plant or floral rental?
    • Forklift?
    • Furniture rental?
    • Photography?
    • Plumbing or riggers?
    • Security?
    • Utilities and telephone?
    • Setup and dismantle labor?
    • Supervisor travel expenses?
    • Miscellaneous or unexpected?

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.

By Timothy Carter

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A Full-Service Agency At Smash Hit Displays, we go out of our way to provide you with full service. In addition to our full line of portable trade show exhibits, the highlights of our service includes:

  • An in-house graphic design department to serve your needs.
  • Tracking software that tracks your orders from beginning to end.
  • Partnerships with major trade exhibit manufacturers who have products in stock and can ship quickly.
  • Partnerships with nationwide printers to provide high-quality printing & graphics.

Display Warranties At Smash Hit Displays, we test every booth and exhibit we sell to make sure our customers get the best quality products. Our booths and exhibits are durable and versatile. We offer warranties on all products, ranging from 1-year to lifetime warranties.

Give us a call today at 1.877.215.5355 to talk about show displays, exhibits, flooring, and booths. Our knowledgeable customer service staff can help you to plan your next show. You can also send an email to our Sales staff through our "Contact Page," and they will gladly answer your questions about trade shows.

Customer Support If you have any questions, please give us a call! We answer our phones, and can provide quick and easy answers for any questions or concerns you might have.

We Serve the U.S. and Ship Worldwide We serve all U.S. cities and every convention center in the United States. We have customers in Seattle, Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and throughout the world. logoWe can ship to the location of your event or anywhere you need your products delivered.