Trade shows or no trade shows, that is the question…

Trade shows or no trade shows, that is the question.

As companies are spending thousands of dollars to promote themselves and gain market visibility, it is interesting to see the ways that businesses are moving their trade show budget to digital marketing looking for a better return on investment. Where is the best place to advertise or promote yourself? Are trade show expenses declining due to the explosion of digital marketing?  Is that true that in this digital world the buyer is now coming to the seller? One sure thing is that every company is trying to find ways to cut trade show costs. Listed below are some basic tips to help you to stay in budget.

Trade show saving tips:  It’s all about size….

While the trade show season is at a slow point during the summer, let’s go over key show expenses and find ways to minimized them.


Exhibit space 25%

Book early to get a discount, it will also give you more visibility as your company will be listed on the exhibitor list from the beginning. Make sure to size your booth correctly, bigger is not always better.  A larger booth will require more furniture, displays, and staff and therefore increase cost.


Travel 22%

This is the second biggest expense that can easily be cut down.

  1. Carefully select your sales and marketing team, you don’t want to be understaffed. To be able to attend, sales personnel should have multiple pre-scheduled meetings.
  2. Book a block of rooms for your team in advance, and check with the show organizer as they may have special deals.
  3. Attendees need to book their travel arrangements as early as possible.  Airfare price can double/triple if booked at the last minute

Show services 20%

  1. Order your show  services before the deadline as it will save you quite a bit of money
  2. By keeping your exhibit light and ship your display in advance to warehouses you will save on drayage in and out

 Booth design 15%

You can own or rent your booth.  Booth rental in my view could be more effective if you are using the same display for multiple events and looking to change your look and feel every year or so. In any case I would keep the booth design as simple and open as possible.

  1. Think about using lighter materials when designing your booth, it will save you on shipping and drayage cost.
  2. Use a generic messaging on your graphic panels so you will be able to reuse them for other shows.

Shipping 10%

  1. Keep the weight down by using fabric and lighter structures
  2. Rent or buy furniture on site so you won’t have to ship them
  3. Don’t over ship datasheets and collateral, they are heavy and usually no one takes them

Other promotional costs 8%

  1. Keep the giveaway items costs down by being more selective
  2. only give gifts to higher end/real prospects.
  3. Chose a small items versus the bulky one.

Contact us if you need support for you tradeshow on long island?