Cost-saving exhibiting tips when your trade show budget is in limbo

Cost-saving exhibiting tips when your trade show budget is in limbo Banner

Sooner than later, in-person events and trade shows will be returning

The day trade show and events are open without restrictions will be fantastic! Our world as exhibitors and event managers will finally return to a point where we feel comfortable and we can deliver those in-person experiences we all love at our favorite venues. Until that day comes, chances are that your already tight exhibiting budgets will be even more spartan than before the impact of the pandemic on our exhibiting industry.

exhibit hall

With the overall reduction in event expenditure for the 2021 – 2022 season, the big questions we need to answer are: how can we do more with less? How can we make significant cuts to our event and trade show programs without completely gutting our booths, or diminishing our event presence? These questions are very valid concerns.

Well, that is what we are going to evaluate. Prioritizing the must-have, would like-to-have, and finally can do-without. Once these items have been identified you can make very logical and prudent reductions without compromising your overall goals for events and trade shows. Here are some tips that can make those priorities clear.

Rental exhibiting can save money

Rental booths are one of the more obvious solutions that is available. Utilizing a rental exhibit can open a world of opportunities your custom booth may have restricted. Many come with graphic packages included and offer some modern interactivity an older property may not have. This could help fulfill the must-have items for your show while significantly reducing costs.

Reduce your footprint and reduce your costs

Take a break from your 30×30 exhibitor whatever you may have that is on the larger end of the spectrum. Simply reducing your footprint to a modest 20×20 or an inline property can save a good amount of time and money on drayage, setup, and teardown. This should free up some budget for attending another show later in the year, or adding another of the must-have or would-like items to your booth.

Partner up and double your savings

Splitting the costs with a strategic partner can make a huge difference. I have seen this as a trend that shows substantial benefits for both parties. Sometimes the exhibit space is a 50/50 split, and in other instances, I have seen demo stations highlighting partner integration with staff representation. Regardless of how the division of priority is achieved, the outcome is a solid win for both parties involved and trims the “can-do-without” items you typically use.

exhibit partner

Modular for flexibility to work within a budget

Maybe it is time to work with your exhibit company to convert your booth into a modular design. With the talented 3D designers out there, just about any exhibit can have a second life as a more nimble and adaptive designed booth with modularity as a priority. Now you can adjust your footprint or the number of structural elements to save money. Alternatively, new booth configurations can visually make a big difference in engagement if you have used the same build for a few years.

Blazer Exhibits & Events Hopup Fabric Graphics

Roadshow alternative for the must-have list and massive savings

Taking portable exhibiting solutions to your target audience is always a good idea. Having a number of easily transportable exhibits and staff members can bring the show to potential or existing clients. This provides a more personable experience and quality interactions that are memorable and tailored. Not to mention how cost-effective this option can really be – the options are just about limitless!


By reducing the overall scope of your exhibiting ambitions to the core must-have priorities, you can really open up some impactful options you may have overlooked when marketing budgets were larger.

You can make significant cuts by using these streamlined alternatives and project your message effectively without feeling like your presence has been diminished. These suggestions can be just as effective in capturing your audience’s attention and getting your message out effectively.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith has been a professional graphic and user experience designer for over 28 years. Matt works closely with trade show and event companies in the San Francisco Bay area and Denver Colorado.

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