Working out the costs of trade show marketing is crucial for any business, one industry figure has claimed.
Charles Beshears, the president of National Trade Show Displays, told TSNN that these events "can be a very positive and lucrative experience" for many companies.
He said there are "numerous benefits" such as networking, marketing and business development, but it is important to budget for trade shows and keep spending under control.
Mr Beshears claimed there are "a number of hidden costs" that make it difficult to reach an exact figure, but he highlighted the main areas of expenditure.
First of all, he explained some of the fixed costs that any trade show will have.
"The most obvious is the cost for booth rental space, which varies based on the show and venue," Mr Beshears noted.
He said it is important to factor in ancillary venue costs such as electricity or water, if these are also going to be charged.
"Only you can determine how much space and what utilities you need at a given trade show, but it’s likely that this will be one of your largest cost items," Mr Beshears added.
He said that freight is another significant cost, depending on the number of items you are transporting to the trade show venue.
Mr Beshears urged businesses to plan ahead and, where possible, absorb some of the cost be transporting items with employees in their own vehicles.
He explained that there are "quite a few" flexible cost items to be aware of too when marketing at a trade show.
These are items that are necessary, but the business has a significant amount of control over Mr Beshears added.
"For example, trade show booths and graphics vary in cost very significantly," he noted.
"From a very simple homemade booth with graphics done by hand and a simple table that displays sample products to an elaborate professionally designed and fabricated booth with screens and gadgets everywhere - there is much variety to be had."
Mr Beshears suggested that the type of stand a business opts for will depend on its overall goals for the trade show.
He added that travel can be another significant cost, particularly if the trade show is some way away from a business' location.
Mr Beshears said companies can either pay the extra travel costs or wait for a trade show that is more local.