How to Budget Your Trade Show Experience

budget your trade show experience

From design to drayage, producing the art of experience is fraught with details that can be damning if overlooked — especially when they cost real dollars. When it comes to breaking down the costs to stage your show there are many factors to consider, the question is do you know what all those factors are?

As a former secretary of defense once famously tried to explain, there are known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. This rhetorical slippery slope holds true for trade show budgeting as well and knowing what you don’t know can allay many unexpected costs.

Trade Show Knowledge is Power

When it comes to how to budget your trade show experience, there is what you’re paying and why you’re paying it. Understanding the ways and means of the latter is essential to maximizing your budget and avoiding problematic overages.

There are two parts — creating the show and staging the show. For the purposes of this post, let’s concentrate on creating the show and three points to consider.

Design — Your trade show exhibit is custom-made experience meant to attract a particular demographic, convey a meaningful message, and achieve your desired results. Standing out on a crowded trade show floor requires top-tier talent. Have you allotted enough budget to pay the right design team?

Engineering Stamp — This is literally a “stamp of approval” from engineering professionals that affirm that your trade show design has certifiable structural integrity and is safe for your attendees.

Inventory — Trade shows are exercises in controlled chaos. The Receive/Inventory process guarantees that every crate is accounted for and flags missing or damaged pieces for repair or replacement. This is crucial when your event is far from home and a “grin and bear it” philosophy isn’t on brand.

What likely is on brand is understanding all the variables that go into a successful trade show equation. Budget your show with confidence with our comprehensive breakdown. Our 18-point breakdown covers everything you need to budget your next show. Download it here.

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