- Research the show to gauge potential revenue.
- Carefully define your trade show budget.
- Decide how to best build your booth.
If you’re new to the world of trade shows, preparation can be a daunting task. You want to go in fully prepared so you can make the most out of your investment, but what does fully prepared even look like?
According to Business.com, your overall budget for a trade show should be about three times the amount you spend on renting the space for your booth.
But how does that break out? What should you prioritize? Do you try to emulate the booths of your competitors? Or is standing out from the crowd the best idea?
Perhaps most importantly when beginning your planning phase is for the booth itself. How much should you spend on your trade show booth?
Know Your Show
The best first step is to research your trade show carefully. For smaller shows, you won’t need as much of a “wow” factor to grab attention. If your show is going to be more competitive, you’ll have to adjust accordingly.
Never forget that any money you spend on a sales opportunity has to reflect that opportunity’s potential revenue. Don’t throw money at a booth just so you’ll look good in front of your competitors.
While there’s no hard and fast rule for budgeting for a booth, the budget of three times the rental space gives a clear starting place.
However, you’ll need to break it down even further.
Define Your Budget
Your booth will not be your only expense for the show. You’ll also be budgeting for things like travel, lodging, giveaway items, and “event services.” That’s the term often used for things like Wi-Fi, water, power, and even custodial services.
If this is your first time attending a trade show, all of the line items in that budget can sneak up on you fast. This is especially true for smaller items, like giveaway pens or notepads. Before you know it, you can run through the budget for your booth without having a single sign!
Make sure your budget for designing, fabricating, and shipping your booth signage (both ways) is defined early in the planning stages. It doesn’t matter how many boxes of pens you have to hand out if no one knows who you are because you have no sign.
Build Your Booth
Now that you have a better sense of just how much of your budget you’ll be devoting to your trade show booth, it’s time to decide the specifics. How you spend your budget really comes down to one question:
How big of a statement are you trying to make?
For smaller budgets (or just smaller shows), a banner across the front of your table and a few miniature tabletop sign stands are fine. People won’t necessarily see you from across the room, but you’ll have a polished, professional look. This is perfect for smaller venues or when the booths are arranged in a tighter pattern.
With a little more to spend, it’s time to think vertically. You can choose retractable roll up banners of around three or four feet in height that can sit right on the table, or go for the taller models and have them on the floor in front of your booth. Now you’re getting noticed!
Finally, if you have some extra capital, there’s nothing like a large backdrop. As we’ve talked about before, it’s a fantastic eye-catcher and can even double as a selfie background for your clients.
Remember that many of these signs will be generic. They’ll have your company logo, tagline, and website. That means that these signs and banners will be useful beyond this one show. Consider this an investment in all of the trade shows to come.
Head over to our trade show page and start building your dream booth today!