Exhibiting at a trade show on a razor-tight budget can be a stressful process, especially if you are exhibiting for the first time. It just so happens, there are a variety of tactics you can implement to reduce your budget without hurting your exhibit’s visibility or return on investment.
Let’s take a look at at some sound advice and suggestions that will help you extend your trade show exhibits budget, and put those saving to work in other areas that will promote and generate brand exposure for your business.
Downsize your exhibit to reduce your total costs.
large booths can generate bigger costs, both in terms of putting together the exhibiting and booking space in the exhibition hall. If you are exhibiting at a trade show for the first time, trim expenses by downsizing your exhibit to a more manageable size.
There is nothing wrong with exhibiting in a smaller booth space, and the reduced costs of a exhibit rental can help you extend other areas within your budget and still generate a positive ROI from the event.
Register and book your trade show plans early.
The closer to the event you register, the more you will likely need to pay extra to take part. Registering late for a trade show also limits your exhibit location options on the show floor. This means you may need to pay a premium for a location on the event floor that is less than ideal.
Spend your budget efficiently by registering for every trade show as early as you can. It’s also good to book hotels, transportation, and storage ahead of time to lock in low rates and save as much of your budget as possible.
Hold contests and avoid costly giveaways.
One of the most common trade show attention-generating strategies is to give away products for free – typically, cheap items like pens, dancing robots, or flash drives. While these usually do not cost much per unit, the total cost of a giveaway can quickly add up over the course of an event. Another downside to these grab-and-leave tchotchkes is the congestion of unqualified traffic in your exhibiting space.
Hold a contest Instead of giving away hundreds of cheap items. Offer the chance to win a much more expensive, desirable item possibly from your business. Engage with your attendees, and get them involved with your brand.
Use your social media outlets to promote your trade show.
Does your business have a social media presence? If so, leverage it to drive existing customers and fans of your business to your trade show booth, all without the usual cost of advertising. Offer a gift if they post an image at the show on their Instagram or Facebook page in your show space. Extend your show presence through others – it is a great way to connect with loyal patrons.
From blog posts to Facebook updates, use your social media presence to your advantage as a promotional tool for every trade show you attend. You’ll be surprised how many people drop by after reading a status update or seeing an Instagram photo of your team at the event.
First time exhibiting? Use a rental exhibit option.
Buying a trade show booth can be a superb decision, provided you have got a long series of events lined up in which you plan to use it. However, as a first-time exhibitor, it’s usually a much better decision to rent your booth instead of buying.
Renting your booth lets you save money in the short term, all while eliminating extra costs such as booth storage and maintenance. In short, you can save money while focusing on the event, rather than worrying about post-event tasks.
Choose local or geographically close events with minimal travel.
Traveling to-and-from a trade show can be an expensive process, especially if you need to bring a large exhibit with you. Because of this, one of the easiest ways to spend less at your first trade show is to choose a local event.
Often, a small local event can produce better results than a larger regional one, provided you’re focused on ROI rather than total revenue generated from the trade show.
Negotiate for a better deal – it never hurts to ask.
Just like any purchase, it is never a bad idea to negotiate when you are preparing for a trade show or other event. From discounts on your exhibiting materials to early-bird pricing for your hotel rooms, asking for a better deal can often result in you receiving one.
Chances are that negotiation will not cut your trade show exhibit expenses by 50 percent, it sure can help you save a good chunk or change within your total budget, giving you more money to spend on lead generation and driving traffic at your event.