So, you’ve finally committed to attending your first trade show. Now what? Before you start the planning process, it’s a good idea to create a budget. For the first time trade-show-goer, setting an accurate budget will be difficult if you have no idea what to expect. Lucky for you, we’ve broken down the budgets of our clients to give you a better idea of the various charges, costs, and fees to expect at your first trade show.

Don’t Underestimate & Do Your Research

First thing to remember: don’t underestimate your costs! This goes in line with knowing and being realistic about the costs of the trade show.

Do your research by reading through your Show Manual, Trade Show Contract, and Exhibitor’s Kit. Trade shows have very specific rules and regulations that must abided by. As a result, there are a variety of costs you should be aware of including drayage, shipping, missed deadline fees, and service forms.

Costs to Expect

1. Booth & Booth Space

In general, you should expect to spend about 33% of your entire trade show budget on the space itself, and another 20% on construction of your booth. Trade shows charge by the square footage of your booth space, so be sure to keep that in mind when deciding on the size of your booth.

The rest of your budget will go towards promotions before, during, and after the trade show, services for the show, and staffing costs.

2. Promotions

You’ll want to promote your trade show attendance before, during, and after the show. Promoting the event and your booth will play a major role in attracting show attendees to your booth. Consider how much you want to spend on advertising, press kits, sponsorships, giveaways, events, and professional talent before and during the event, as well as how much it will cost to follow-up with the leads you gathered during the event.

After all is said and done, you should plan on reinvesting 1% to 3% of your budget on measuring your ROI and ROO to prove and improve your strategy for your next trade show.

3. Services & Fees

Services for your trade show may include freight, drayage, electric, technology/AV, show installation and dismantle, carpet/flooring, booth cleaning, furniture rental, and security. Your exhibit provider will be able to provide you with most, if not all, of the services you’ll need for your booth. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Trade show participants may need to also pay attendance fees. Make sure you’re clear on all the fees associated with attendance by reading through your trade show materials.

4. Staffing

When it comes to staffing your trade show booth, there’s a few variables to consider. Are you planning on hiring temporary staff, or training your own employees? How much will each option cost? Are you going to hire a trainer?

If training your own employees, consider the time they’ll have to commit to the training and whether you’ll have to slow production at your company. Don’t forget you’ll also need to pay for travel, accomodations, transport to and from the trade show, food, uniforms, and badges/staff registration for each person. If you’re unsure of where to start in terms of your staffing needs, contact your exhibit provider for recommendations.

Start Early

When it comes to setting and following your budget, it’s important to start up to a year before the event starts. Having ample time to research and find the best options for your trade show will give you room to breathe as the event gets closer.

Choose an Experienced Exhibit Provider

Choosing an exhibit provider that has experience with answering trade show questions and concerns while being respectful of your needs will go a long way in helping you budget and cut costs for your trade show.

As your trade show looms, we do whatever it takes to make sure you can sleep well at night by being at your side through every step of the process. We pride ourselves in putting our heart and soul into each client’s exhibit to bring their exhibit dreams to reality.

Contact us today to get started!