When considering a trade show as a way to exhibit your products and services, it is important to become familiar with the potential costs that may arise in association with being a trade show exhibitor. First, you’ll need to consider what costs are required for the design and construction of the booth that you plan to use at the trade show and then determine what costs and fees are associated with actually being at the trade show for the days the exhibit will take place. As a business owner, it is important to manage costs and while trade show exhibits are a great way to meet and greet new and existing clients, the costs must be well managed to ensure it is a cost effective marketing venture for you.
Oftentimes trade shows coordinators will require that your hire staff to set up your exhibit booth and this, alone, can be a significant cost especially if your trade show displays are quite large. In addition, if you plan to use any graphic material you will need to make sure that you are familiar with the expense that is associated with producing those graphics and setting up the graphics in the booth as the cost for additional security and lighting can be significant as well.
Trade show displays require a booth rental at the trade show hall and, even without a trade show display to set up, the cost of the booth rental is significant and can range in spectrum depending on where the location of that booth may be. If you specifically request a booth space that is close to the entrance of the trade show hall, or a booth where a lot of visitor foot traffic is expected, you can expect the cost to rent that booth space will be significant.
Additional costs associated with trade show exhibitions involve the cost of shipping your actual trade show display supplies and products to the exhibit hall for storage prior to the trade show event. Shipping maybe include common carrier shipping, which is usually the most inexpensive way, but is not always the best way to ship products, especially if your trade show display needs to be handled with care. Van line shipping is another great way to ship your products for a trade show exhibition, but the costs can be a little bit more expensive then using common carrier. Air carrier shipping can be used for a trade show display as well but this can be extremely expensive and especially so when you are using overnight shipping.
When considering a trade show exhibition as a way to promote your products and services it is important to determine what expenses you will incur in addition to getting your employees to the destination location. Because rental of the booth space, and transport and set up of the trade show display, can be quite expensive, these will have be weighed against the number of leads and new sales you may accrue, or historically have accrued in the past. If you find there is a profit to be made, then trade show displays and booth rental, and the next big trade show exhibition may be cost effective for your business.
Sources: Get the Most out of Trade Shows, by Steve Miller, pp. 103-107.