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How Much to Spend on Tradeshows and on a Tradeshow Display

Trying to figure out how much of your marketing budget should go towards shows (and show prep like building a booth exhibit) is a really tough question to answer. On the one hand, it’s important that you dole out your budget as carefully as possible. On the other hand, there are some fundamental questions that you can ask yourself to figure out if you’re spending too much or too little.

budget cartoon
CC Image courtesy of Humor Blog via Flickr

Some Thoughts on Budget

The first thing that you need to think about is really simple: how much can you really afford to spend? That’s not a tough question, right? But, it’s one that does require some honesty. For some reason, budgets and dollar amounts are rarely discussed in the business world, which just seems ridiculous given the fact that most business deals revolve around the very thing that we don’t like to discuss. So, open up – how much can you spend?

Once you’ve got that figured out, you’ll have to determine what your marketing goals are. We created a whole post on defining your tradeshow display goals, so check back on our blog to find that post before moving forward. After that, you’ll have to define how much attaining those individual goals will cost you, and that should be simple enough to break down.

Breaking Down Goal Costs

Here’s the formula for figuring out how much reaching each goal will cost you:

1. What is the goal?

2. How can you get there?

3. What do you need to get there?

4. What will you get in return (ROI)?

A great general rule of thumb is: spend money to make money. If you are spending money, figure out how you are going to make money from that expense. If you can’t figure out a way to generate revenue or get a return on investment from the money you are going to spend, you may not want to spend that money at all. As you can see, this whole process is going to require quite a bit of thought, and that’s perfectly okay. It’s far better to plan everything out than it is to spend money without a plan, so take your time during the planning stage.

Other Details

You can also look back to see how much you have already spend on tradeshows. How much did you spend last year? Did the plan you made at that time work out for you? If not, you may want to go over that plan again, so that you can see where you went wrong. If it did work for you, can you improve upon it? Should you have spend more or less last time? Will you be spending the same amount? If the show you last attended didn’t yield any results, it might be time to move on to a different show, unless you think that the negative results were due to a lack of planning.

So many businesses make the mistake of not planning out a budget, or how that budget will be spent. Some view planning as a waste of time, but that couldn’t be less true. Planning is when you’ll really be able to break down what you want, how you can get it, and how you’ll make money from that decision. As you can see, you can’t really determine your tradeshow budget until you’ve planned it all out – and it never hurts to tap into your sales and marketing team for a second look either.

The Exhibit Stage

At Blazer Exhibits, we understand that you have worked on your budget, and that you know what your budget is. We are more than happy to work with you to create a booth that really stands out – no matter what your budget might be. Working with our design team, you will soon have a tradeshow display that displays your logo clearly, attracts visitors, and works with your overall marketing plan. All of these things will combine to provide you with exactly what you need when attending the next show including a great booth exhibit.

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