It goes without saying that if you want to succeed and make a good impression at your next expo, you should make a considerable investment. What’s important is that you will get a good return on that investment if your campaign was indeed successful and you shouldn’t be afraid of spending good money on design, rent, handouts, etc… Beware, this is not another “the cheapest way to make it to the expo” kind-of-article. The goal here is to talk about the expenses you can cut strategically
#1. Make a budget.
Avoid the case when costs get out of hand and never be taken by surprise by making a budget. Start with a simple list of every expense you can think of. When you are done with the list and you’re staring at it for 30 minutes without being able to think of another one, leave a couple of lines empty.
The tip here is to plan as far ahead as possible. When you start early, you can benefit from all the early response discounts (there are always such).
#2. Consider renting instead of buying
Buying a booth only makes sense for experienced companies planning to participate in trade shows regularly. If you are new in business, you should start with rentals and see if expos are your thing.
#3. Don’t rush if after the expo
If your booth is at the show floor by the pre-determined deadline, the exhibit hall will be forced to move your equipment off the show floor. They will disassemble the booth for you and will store your items. What’s wrong about it? Labor and storage charges, as well as late penalties.
In many cases, the exhibit hall may decide to ship it (choosing the most expensive shipping partner is a must) to your return address. This can be avoided if you are benefiting from a trade show display rentals service of course.
#4. Size matters
Even if you avoid the forced return shipping, you still need to think of shipping expenses. Yes, choosing the most visually appealing displays is important but if you have options, go for lightweight materials when possible.
#5. Double-check every invoice
Everyone makes a mistake, that’s what makes us human but this is also why you should always check every receipt and every paperwork involved.
#6. Plan everything in advance
Yes, this was mentioned in the budget point and now we’re going to end with it for the simple reason that planning in advance is potentially the biggest money savior. This includes planning the travel in advance and possibly gets cheap tickets. Hotel stays and car rentals also work this way.
What’s more important is that many expos and shows have an early signup discount. You already missed that? Don’t let your guard down as they also have a deadline and penalty fees if you miss those deadlines.
Let’s wrap up
Yes, there is no magic way to creating a successful yet affordable trade show program. You should spend good money on it but there are ways to reduce the costs. The investment, however, will most likely be returned (if you do the essential planning), so no need to worry about that.