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Successful Trade Show Displays On A Budget

Dec 8, 2007
For a business, particularly a small business, the thought of a trade show can be daunting, often viewed as a drain on resources and a bit of a financial burden. It is, however, possible to have a successful trade show experience, even on a budget.

When it comes to creating your industry trade show budget, three simple rules apply:

Budget Your Time - Create a plan for your trade show that takes into account budget, staff, resources, requirements and most of all, objectives. A trade show is an industry opportunity and as such, is not the time to be cutting costs and corners. If not only industry associates and peers will be in attendance, but also consumers, influencer's and media, positioning your company in its best light is not an objective, it is an absolute requirement. A clear focus can accelerate and highlight your needs. Is the goal new leads or to launch new product? Understanding this can go a long way towards help you manage staff and budget your resources accordingly.

Budget Your Resources - Staff your booth with existing and knowledgeable staff. While that may seem obvious, it is frequently overlooked. If your goal is lead or client acquisition, your business development team or person should be your front line during peak hours. Much like a hockey team, you want your best players on the ice at critical times.

If a new product is being launched, marketing is generally your best front line resource with the ability to speak to product features and benefits.

Remember also that a trade show can be exhausting. Poor attendance can lead to boredom and a long day on your feet is a long day on your feet. Budget your time and resources accordingly.

Budget Your Spending - While the thought of renting a display booth may seem the most cost-effective way to go at the outset, sit down and create a trade show budget with objectives and actual costs. If you're planning to attend more than one trade show, a custom display booth may prove not only more functional, but simply more cost-effective in the end.

Approach your collateral materials in much the same manner. It may be more financially prudent to print an over run of collateral materials from the outset, and then overprint with changes of addresses, rates or other key information as required in much the same manner business cards are overprinted.

Finally when it comes your collateral material for on site data collection, if the audience is small enough it may be easier to capture information into a computer directly presenting a direct cost savings over ballots, and a time savings with having to try and decipher information often poorly and hastily written.

When it comes to trade shows, budget need not be a bad word. When it comes to resources, a little planning can go a long way and result in money you can take to the bank. With the use of compact, light and affordable display stands, your next trade show experience is sure to be a hit.
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