For both small start-ups and large corporations alike, one of the best places to promote brand awareness and secure new leads is at a trade show. Trade shows, or conferences, for specific industries are an excellent chance for brands to put themselves in front of their target audiences, capturing their attention with eye-catching exhibit booths and free promotional swag. However, before signing up to be an exhibitor at your next industry trade show, it’s important to know the costs and how to budget best so you still get a return on your investment.
Breaking Down Trade Show Booth Cost
Once you’ve found a trade show exhibit that presents a great opportunity for your business to grow, there are a number of costs you are going to need to plan for, from initial sign up to booth break down.
Securing Your Spot
Registering to be an exhibitor at a trade show is the first cost you’ll meet. You’ll choose the size booth you want, a standard size being 10 feet by 10 feet. The larger your booth, the more expensive it will be. For some shows, you are able to select your spot on the expo floor. Your location in relation to the main walkway, on a corner, or any highly trafficked spot may mean a higher cost as well.
Don’t Forget the Insurance
Most trade shows require exhibitors to pay for insurance. This required fee will protect you in case of any cancellations, rescheduling, or emergencies.
Registering Staff Members
Typically, for every trade show exhibit booth registration, the company is allotted a certain number of staff registrations, usually two to four. Depending on how many employees you want on the floor during expo hall hours, and how often they need breaks, you may need to pay for additional registrations. This cost could be anywhere from $100 to $500 per person. While this may seem costly, this will ensure you have an employee at your trade show booth at all times to hand out swag and talk to any potential leads. When creating your budget, don’t forget to include the travel, hotel, and food expenses for each employee.
Designing Your Booth
Make sure attendees are drawn in by your booth! There are hundreds of different backdrops, displays, banners, and hanging signs that you can utilize to make your booth stand out at the show. Having a booth display professionally designed and printed can make sure you’re amplifying your brand’s message to everyone who walks by. The costs of a trade show booth range from $2,000 - $16,000, depending on the number of elements.
Booth Amenities, Appliances, and Furniture
A fee for electricity and internet access at your booth may be required. Whether you’re plugging in your backlit display or using a TV to play a demo video, you’ll want to make sure you have power and internet access before the show starts.
Additionally, you may have to rent TVs, tables, chairs, and flooring for your booth. These are all dependent on how you choose to set up your booth and how you desire for it to look. Some venues do allow you to bring all of these things yourself, but make sure you take in consideration the logistics of bringing it all on the floor - and taking it all out.
Ordering Conference Swag
People like free stuff - so don’t let them down! A lot of conference attendees enjoy walking expo floors to collect swag and branded merchandise. While you won’t be the only one handing stuff out on the floor, you want to make sure you’re handing out something memorable. Think about your audience and order promotional products with your branding on them that you know trade show attendees are going to take - and keep. By giving them something that they’ll hold on to, you’re more likely to trigger brand recall every time they use it after the show. High-quality, memorable promotional products range in costs and are dependent on the amount, but you can estimate anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.
Getting an ROI on Trade Show Booths
It’s safe to say that exhibiting at a trade show is a costly endeavor. Depending on your goals, as well as the size and design of your booth, the amount of staff you bring, and the branded merchandise you hand out, the cost could be as low as a few thousand dollars, to several thousands. If you’re interested in learning how you can make the most of your trade show investment with professionally designed and printed booth displays, as well as quality branded merchandise, get in touch with Ironmark. We’ve been perfecting trade show marketing for over 60 years.