Industry trade shows are not cheap and costs add up quickly if you’re not well prepared and versed on the show deadlines. Saving money on each show can make you look like a champion and can help you run a more effective events process.
Here are 3 ways to save big at your upcoming shows:
- Take advantage of early bird show pricing with exhibitor services and show vendors
Many vendors have early discount pricing deadlines 6-9 months ahead of the show. Vendors publish this information in the show’s exhibitor portal. Be sure to access your show’s exhibitor portal as quickly as possible and download the show’s “Quick Facts” document for major show deadlines as well as find and review vendor early bird pricing dates to map out and estimate costs. Exhibitor services and vendor pricing can double as you get closer to the show and, especially once you’re on-site at the show. This is a very simple and easy way to keep costs down.
- Ship to advanced warehouse storage
All trade shows have pricing & deadlines for material handling costs that are separate for their advanced warehouse storage, non-advanced warehouse storage, and direct to show-site shipping.
As you get closer to the show, pricing for material handling increases substantially. If you can ship all items, or at least the biggest items (such as your booth or any heavy structure) using the cheapest, ground-shipping method to advanced warehouse storage, this will save you thousands at your next show.
- Save on booth non-essentials; Invest in the right booth perks
A great way to save at the show on your booth is on carpet. For example, custom carpets (custom color and/or cut) are very pricey. Pick a neutral carpet color such as black, white, or grey and choose to spend money on in-booth graphics and branding that will have a greater impact than carpet color.
However, keep in mind that your booth staff might be forced to stand around in the booth for 8-12 hours a day so splurge to purchase carpet padding. The little extra carpet padding will go a long way for your booth staff who have to be on their feet all day. Plus customers/prospects also appreciate standing on the cushy padding as a break from walking the show floor all day when they stop by your booth for a chat.
One other splurge recommendation is to pay for in-booth cleaning on at least the very first day of the show. Your booth will get dirty & dusty from show set up between all the workers, staff, and heavy equipment rolling around and it makes a big difference on Day One of the show to have a nice, tidy booth. Unless you want your prospects to be covered in dust, dirt and trash. 🙂
In summary, the biggest way to save at any show is to plan and purchase as far in advance as possible.
Creating a checklist of your show’s deliverables & deadlines and adding reminders as those deadlines come up will help you and your team stay on track and, most importantly, stay on budget.