How to Budget for a Trade Show

How to Budget for a Trade Show

While nothing can match the reach of SEO for helping people find your business and services, there are other marketing techniques your company should explore from time to time as well. Especially if your product or service is something that benefits from a ‘hands on’ sales approach.

Exhibiting in Trade Shows is one such ‘hands on’ marketing technique I highly recommend as it is an exceptional way to significantly increase business and grow your company’s market share. But, even seasoned marketing managers and event producers are often blindsided by Trade Show budget blow-outs after ‘signing on the dotted line’.

In this article I’ll help shine a light on the many hidden costs associated with exhibiting at a Trade Show, to ensure your budget doesn’t keep rising like a deckchair on the Titanic!

Trade Shows – Where Your Money Will Go

There are dozens of ways to spend money when exhibiting at a Trade Show - maybe hundreds - but the first cheque you’re going to have to cut is to the Trade Show organizer. This cheque will cover one of two things:

  1. Real estate in the Trade Show hall.
  2. Sponsorship at the Trade Show and / or at any associated conferences.

Trade Show organizers rent out real estate at their events by the ‘square meter’ (or in the US, by the ‘square foot’). This real estate comes in two distinct varieties:

  • ‘Space Only’ (where you pay for empty floor space and build your stand from scratch)
  • ‘Shell Scheme’ (where you pay for floor space that comes with carpet, fascia, power point, name-board and prefabricated walls). 


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