Trade shows are a great way to gain new customers and increase awareness of your brand. However, like anything in the business world, they cost money. You will have to pay out for a number of different things in the course of a show or exhibition, which can end up putting people off going to them.
However, the investment is more than worth it. The money you put into the exhibition will end up leading to more people becoming aware of your company and interested in your products and services. But that doesn't mean you can just splash out and lose track of what you're spending.
Making a proper budget for your next trade show is definitely worth doing. It will enable you to get the best possible return on investment by cutting unnecessary costs and increasing spending where it will have the biggest impact. But how can you make the best budget? Here are a few tips:
Work out what is absolutely necessary
Before you can cut your costs, you need to work out what items you will be spending money on that you absolutely can't do without. For example, a good third of your budget will likely be spent on the actual floor space or exhibition stand. This is an obvious essential, so you won't be able to cut back on this.
Then there is food and accommodation for you and any other staff members who will be attending. You will also need to get to the venue, along with all the materials you need to promote your business, so you need to factor in transport costs. If you have a lot to take with you this will be more expensive.
Reduce costs where you can
Rather than cutting things completely out of the budget, try reducing costs where possible. For example, you can probably find fairly cheap accommodation. You don't need a five-star hotel for a single night after a trade show, after all!
You can usually reduce the cost of marketing materials by finding out how many people have bought tickets for the trade show. There is no point printing out 1,000 leaflets, for example, if only 200 people are scheduled to come. You should always have spares of anything you are giving away, but not that many!
Increase spending where it will have the greatest effect
You've finished saving money, but now it is time to wisely invest it somewhere where it will lead to more people visiting your stall and becoming your customers. For example, you should make sure your stand looks as professional as possible. It is worth paying a bit extra for display materials, as these will catch the eye of attendees and cause them to come over.
Marketing materials in general are a good investment, as are uniforms for you and the other staff members who will be helping you. This will make you seem more professional, giving a good first impression to the attendees.