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Exhibiting at trade shows can be a great promotional exercise for your business. Trade show exhibits can help you generate buzz around new products. They give you an opportunity to network with other influential people in your industry. They can help you build leads for product sales or service contracts. And they can also blow your budget if you aren’t careful.
Let’s look at five easy ways you can save money on your company’s next trade show exhibit, from registration costs to exhibit displays.
1. Register early.
Trade shows will often offer early bird discounts on exhibitor registrations. When you register early, not only does that mean you might be able to save on the registration fees, but you’ll have a better pick of available booth locations before spaces fill up.
Even better, when you register early and confirm your exhibitor spot, you’ll be in a position to make early travel arrangements as well. That could mean saving even more money when you book your team’s transportation and hotel costs.
2. Take advantage of free promotional opportunities.
Sometimes a trade show host will give exhibitors opportunities to promote themselves for free. That might mean giving you space on their website pre-event, such as in an exhibitor directory. Or they might distribute event-related press releases on your company’s behalf.
Local newspapers, and sometimes trade publications, will let you post free event announcements as well, so look for those before budgeting other marketing expenses.
3. Consider booth rentals.
If you won’t be using the same booth displays repeatedly, it might not make sense to purchase yours. Consider trade show exhibit rentals instead. You’ll still get high quality displays, but you won’t be making as much of a financial commitment.
When you purchase your own booth displays, you not only have the up-front costs. You also have to store them, maintain them, and repair or replace them periodically. With exhibit display rentals, you’re only paying for what you need, when you need it.
4. Limit booth staff.
While you can hire outside staff for these kinds of marketing events, consider skipping them if at all possible. When you hire that outside help, you’ll need to train them so they can answer questions or handle product demonstrations for you.
Instead, bring a limited team of employees who are already knowledgeable about your company and products to save on training. And only bring as many exhibit staff members as you absolutely need to save on potential hourly pay as well as travel costs.
5. Get more out of free giveaways.
One of the biggest expenses you might have related to your trade show exhibit is promotional freebies. Sure, cool trade show giveaways and company swag can attract more people to your booth and get them talking about you. But promotional products can also be expensive.
Shop around for deals on any bulk giveaway items you’re considering for the event. But it’s OK to be a bit stingy with your freebies too. Instead of keeping them all out in the open, make them accessible to staff who can give them away to booth visitors who take the time to really interact with them.
This way you won’t be throwing money away on passersby who just come for the freebies and leave. This can be especially cost-saving if your booth is located in a high-traffic location where people will continually be on the move.
These simple tips can help you get more bang for your buck with your next trade show exhibit. Remember, it’s not just about getting your money’s worth at the event. It’s about looking for creative ways to save without sacrificing your exhibit’s impact.