The exhibition budget will make or break your participation within a trade show and should be the very first consideration when exhibiting. Before signing your contract or considering an event, understand the exact cost your company will endure throughout the exhibition process. Not sure where to start? We have put together a budget template to ensure your company is ready before signing on the dotted line.
It’s no secret that hosting an exhibition booth is a costly (yet worthwhile) exercise. Whilst being at the event has the potential to garner a very strong ROI, consideration should be given to every cost in the lead-up to and whilst being onsite. The cost of exhibiting should be considered at the first stage of the exhibiting process to ensure that the company is well-informed before attending an exhibition.
What to Budget?
Understanding what needs to be included within the budget is the largest part. We have collated a checklist of all areas that will cost when planning for an exhibition.
The first stage of purchasing an exhibition stand is buying the space of the floor plan. Pending each exhibition, the space will cost per square metre. Whilst different events vary, there may be an option for a package stand option, and a custom stand which will both incur different costs.
With the space purchased your company will need to consider the stand build. This is your opportunity to align with a stand builder (like us!), who has access to trade prices and is a cost-effective option to build lasting exhibition stands. We work to create both package stand booths and custom exhibition stands, alongside the company and work to fit into their budget. The build however goes beyond the physical creation of the stand. Consideration should also be given to the materials within the stand.
Throughout the event, guests and staff will require certain pieces of furniture to help facilitate the functionality of the stand. Additionally, furniture works to create a sense of warmth and invitation for attendees. To lower these costs, companies should turn to rental furniture companies. This will help to avoid the inventory and storage costs at the completion of the event.
Should your company require any technology onsite, they should consider the cost of electricity. Often when purchasing a space-only stand, electricity will be required in advance to be connected to the stand. Understand if any activations within the exhibition will also require electricity including product trialing, or lead generation.
For many companies, attending an exhibition plays a big role in lead generation. Understand if the internet will be provided by the venue or if your company will incur an additional cost to purchase it. Don’t forget, often eftpos machines require the internet to be able to complete a transaction, therefore check this information with your provider before arriving at the venue.
Hint: WIFI information is often included in the exhibition manual provided by the event managers in the lead-up to the event.
Costs for exhibiting go beyond building the stand and buying the space. Marketing your participation at the event will be a costly but worthwhile investment. There are a number of promotional materials to keep in mind.
Ahead of attending the exhibition companies should consider their digital marketing approach. Whilst usually these costs are small, the budget should be considered for paid social marketing, and paid eDM distribution.
A large proportion of a company’s marketing will be the visual impact the stand and brand make. Put time into finding a graphic designer who can relay this message. The cost of graphics will include the requirements for both pre-event marketing and being onsite.
Make your statement onsite with bold signage. Make your exhibition stand unique and stand out within the venue. Consider what type of signage both reflects your brand and tells a story. The cost of signage can vary greatly from branding that can be attached to your walls and pull-up banners, to rigged halo banners which stand above your stand.
Consider the cost of event staffing. Put time into selecting the best staff for the event. These employees should understand the goal of the event and support the promotion of your brand at the exhibition. There are a number of considerations that go into the costs of staff.
Ensure all staff learns why your company is exhibiting, train them on how to use the products within the stand, and how to conduct themselves. These employees are the face of your business whilst at the exhibition and the budget should be considered to train them.
Every budget should consider the cost of travel. If the event is not local, the budget should be considered for flights and accommodation. For local events, the travel items should include parking and petrol expenses.
Being at an exhibition incurs long days for staff. Ensure the budget considers the supply of food or the requirement for cafe lunches throughout the exhibition.
Some companies find uniform or matching outfits whilst on the exhibition stand to create a more unified look for the brand. Ensure costs for uniform purchases or alterations are considered ahead of being at the venue.
Expect the unexpected. Ensure your company has included additional expenses for the exhibition budget. All practiced exhibition-goers understand that unforeseen costs may arise, thus putting some budget aside for unforeseen expenses may alleviate this pressure when planning.
Review the budget
At the completion of the exhibition, the budget should be reviewed. List all line items that extended beyond the anticipated budget and work to understand how this can be mitigated in the future.
Whilst there is a lot to consider when budgeting to attend an exhibition, we understand that every company is unique, and there is no set amount for each exhibition. In lieu of this, we have created an adaptable budget for your company to download and utilise to help plan your exhibition budget.