Ways to Slash Trade Show Costs
Trade shows are excellent forums to showcase new products and reach customers and prospects with your marketing message, but they are expensive. Cutting trade shows out of your marketing budget entirely, however, is pound-wise and penny foolish. Let’s take a look at some ways you can shave costs out of your trade show budget without sacrificing the impact of your exhibit.
Rent instead of own. Some companies get weighed down by the expense of owning their own exhibits; not just the initial expense but the costs associated with storing, shipping, prepping, maintaining, as well material handling expenses once it has been received at the show site.
Bring your own supplies. Renting supplies at a trade show can put a serious crimp in efforts to reduce costs. Though it might seem more cost-efficient to avoid the costs of shipping things such as tables, carpet, chairs, etc., the reality is that you can save by shipping and reusing your own.
Leverage tradeshow materials for other uses. Banners or posters used at trade shows make great visual advertisements in the front window of retail stores. Brochures not given out at shows can double for customer/prospect mailings.
Get handy. One way to save big is to bring your own tools and put your booth staff to work setting up everything that’s not mandated by trade show labor rules.
Negotiate booth rent. Exhibition companies have been hit pretty hard by the recession. What’s bad news for them could be good news for exhibitors. If you’ve exhibited at the same trade show for years, try and renegotiate your booth rent with the tradeshow organizer. Agreeing to sign a multi-year contract might help hasten a deal as organizers are looking to keep you as a long-term exhibitor.
Go smaller. Booth rent accounts for approximately 20% of your total trade show costs, so reducing the size of your booth can have an immediate and big impact on your bottom line.
Ship early. If you are shipping your exhibit or supplies to a show, be sure and plan to ship well ahead of time so you can send all items in the slowest, least expensive way possible. Also check out whether you can ship some items locally instead of from your location.