Friday, August 29th, 2014
Tips for Saving Money at the Next Trade Show
Trade shows are a necessary part of many businesses; but they can be quite costly. Here are some ways to cut back on some of those costs without losing any of the quality and star power needed for a successful and efficient trade show.
- Buy used or refurbished exhibit graphics or design elements. Gently used or reworked exhibit materials can be significantly less money without missing any of the quality.
- Compare material options. Often times, exhibit and graphics designers will use the most expensive materials by default. Always ask for lower cost options. Most of the time, it won’t be cutting quality, just cost.
- Switch to digital graphics. Choosing digital graphics over print will cost less and last longer.
- Utilise free shipping options for new materials. If you are purchasing something new for a trade show such as chairs, furniture, or supplies, order online from a website that offers free shipping and save the shipping to the trade show venue.
- Store your trade show booth strategically. If you need to store your trade show booth in between different venues, located the median point between your annual trade shows and store it there at a facility where it costs less to ship each time. In most cases, there is no need to ship your booth contents back and forth to your city each time. If two shows are close enough to each other find out about shipping everything directly to the next show and asking them to store it if it is a short enough period of time.
- Avoid set up and breakdown on weekends or after business hours. Many trade show venues employ staff that charge a set rate, which can double or even triple on weekends and off hours. This is especially the case in the United States with union workers. If possible schedule arrival and set up during regular business hours to save half the cost. You can even arrive a day earlier in some cases and in addition to saving money, you can take time to set your booth up.
- Search for low cost hotels. Looking outside the box for hotel options can end up saving you quite a bit of money. Rather than settling for a more expensive hotel option nearby the trade show venue, look into options 5 or 10 miles away. You will often find a lower cost hotel with free breakfast options and will still save money even with transportation or car rental.
- Know the trade show floor rules. One of the areas where costs can be at a premium is with food giveaways. If you decide to offer food or snacks, often times this falls under the jurisdiction of the trade show venue caterer who will charge a premium for crisps, confectionaries, or snacks. You can usually get around the requirement by using a pre-packaged branded food item as a promotional product.
- Explore other food options. Speaking of the trade show venue lunch options, they are often extremely costly. If your company is providing lunch meals for all booth staff, it can become extremely costly. Look into other local food or delivery options.
- Bring your own supplies. Trade show set up will often add on cost for extra items at a premium charge. Things like electrical tape, extension cords, a portable vacuum, will save you from being charged well beyond regular price.