Your Exhibition Budget Checklist
At the Venue
Naturally you will need to pay a fee for the space you use at the exhibition. Most events offer a variety of booth sizes, with smaller areas available at a lower cost. Also remember to look into location as well. A prime location may cost more, but may put you in a better position to meet your demographic. Keep in mind that if you attend a few shows run by the same organizer it may be worthwhile to book all your spaces in advance: this could save money and get you better position.
Follow these simple rules when it come to artwork graphics:
- KIS – keep it simple. Your art work needs to focus on a simple message that can be understood within 3 seconds by potential clients.
- Aim your art work to your target audience. Do not overload your artwork with lots of text and graphics.
Displays & Furniture
Some businesses buy their own furniture and displays to bring with them while others rent these items from a third party or the venue. If you chose to buy your furniture keep in mind the transportation cost. Rental is a good option unless you are looking to get a particular design.
If you plan to use any appliances, equipment or devices, you will need electricity. Some venues may include it in the booth price while others add on a charge. Make sure you know how much power (amp) you need so you have enough power for all you appliances combined.
For more about electricity also see our Exhibition Stand Checklist
Equipment Rentals & Other Items
You may need additional equipment or other items that you don’t have access to, like a computer or carpeting. Talk to the event organizer to find out what’s available and how much it will cost for the duration of the event.
Internet access is a must for many businesses, especially those in the tech industry. Make sure you know how much it will cost to access the venue’s internet connection.
Outside the Venue
If you aren’t driving all your supplies and equipment to the venue yourself, then you will most likely need a shipping company. Ask the venue if they have a preferred shipper so you can take advantage of any discounts that may be available.
Hotel Stay or Other Accommodations
You are going to need a place to sleep at night if the event will span multiple days. Make sure you find accommodations that are comfortable and close to the venue.
Create an estimate for your preferred travel method. This should include fuel for vehicles and/or airfare if you plan to fly.
Chances are good that the venue won’t supply three meals a day for you and your staff. Make sure you have a food plan in place. The easiest approach is to go to local restaurants and eateries, although you can save some money by looking for hotel rooms with a kitchenette and nearby grocery store.
Don’t expect the exhibition organiser to do all the marketing for you. Get people talking about your appearance at the event by engaging in a pre-event marketing campaign.
You can draw even more attention to your booth at the event by sending out press kits. This is an optional item that you can adjust based on your budget.
Attire for the Event
If you don’t have something appropriate to wear, you may need to buy attire for the event. Some businesses order garments or accessories emblazoned with their logo so event staff look more professional and are easily recognisable.
For more on exhibition etiquette see Making a Good Impression - Exhibition Stand Etiquette.