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Whether your company is new to exhibiting or has been exhibiting for years, it’s important to know how to maximize your trade show budget.  The reason why is this is often something that quickly gets out of hand and can drain a company’s profits for the year.  People have even been fired for poor management of the trade show budget.  In order to ensure things run smoothly for your company, take some hints from the experts:

Meet with Stakeholders to Determine a Trade Show Budget

Because so many people are often involved in the logistics of a trade show, it’s important that everyone is on the same page as far as determining a trade show budget.  This will lend some transparency to the process of acquiring a trade show exhibit, booking travel and accommodations, how many people can and should attend, and more.  A good rule of thumb is that companies typically want to spend 30% of their trade show budget on the booth space itself.  Unless the company’s budget is massive, going conservative on the trade show booth space is better so they can design an impressive trade show exhibit to fill the space.

trade show budget

Work with an All-Inclusive Exhibit House

Many people don’t know this, but the majority of the exhibit houses and show contractors will stick you with a post-show bill.  Sometimes that bill is in the thousands, which has led to people being fired. Obviously, a post-show bill isn’t something you can prepare for with your trade show budget.  Instead, your company should work with an exhibit house that can guarantee no post-show billing and that can bundle in show services and installation and dismantling.  By working with such an exhibit house, companies are better able to stay within their trade show budget.

fixed price guarantee Absolute Exhibits

Take Only Who You Need

If your company’s trade show budget is thin, the more people you add to the group, the more likely it is you’ll go over it.  This is because more people means more passes you’ll have to buy so they can attend the event, more money will be spent on travel, accommodations, and per diems.  This can get even more expensive if your company takes an hourly employee who might be subject to overtime and double overtime pay because they’re expected to be at certain work events with the group or for a certain number of days.  By being strategic with staff, companies can try to avoid blowing their trade show budget to bits.

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Work in Advance

We all know that by working in advance, people are better able to save money.  Airlines have less expensive tickets when people purchase in advance.  Hotels offer more reasonable rates for early bookings.  And exhibit houses are better able to plan for the show so they can offer discounts that wouldn’t be available with a last minute design and build.  Working in advance is a great way to maximize your trade show budget and make use of every discount you can obtain.

trade show budget calendar

Trade shows are expensive.  No matter your industry, exhibiting at a trade show can be quite expensive.  With these tips, your company should be able to invest where it’s most important and save on the rest.

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