Following these few tips can help stretch your dollar when it comes to budgeting for a trade show. Checking off some simple pre-planning checklist items can be surprisingly helpful in the long run.

  • Rent your exhibit.

It’s exhibiting that equals less hassle, less waste and less money. Need we say any more? Probably. See here,

And here,

for more reasons to rent your next exhibit.

  • Allow 60 days for your exhibit provider to design and build your exhibit.

Giving your exhibit provider enough time to make sure everything is just the way you need it can prevent rush charges, and take a little pressure off of everyone. This way, you have the time to pre-stage

your exhibit and make sure you get exactly what you pay for.

  • Talk with your exhibit house about multiple shows discounts.

You never know what your qualifications may yield. Military? Student? Senior Citizen?

  • Book staff travel at least 2 weeks before departure date

Airlines and hotels charge higher rates the longer you wait to travel. Getting an accurate count of how many people are in your group, and how many rooms you will need as soon as possible can end up saving a bundle.

  • Take advantage of early bird discounts associated with services (electoral, cleaning, internet, carpet, furniture, labor, lead retrieval, catering)
  • Leverage group rates for staff hotels

You never know until you call a hotel what group rates they may offer, and they are often times competitive with rates found on third-party discount sites such as Hotwire or Expedia.

  • Provide snacks and water in booth break room (to prevent having to buy $5 water and expensive snacks at the convention center)

Convention center food is similar to that of an amusement park – you often have to walk half a mile to get any, it’s overpriced and under quality. Take a survey ahead of time and see what little snack each person in your group would like to stay energized through the event.

  • Use lightweight material in booth design to prevent outrageous drayage expenses.

In addition to the cost of shipping your exhibit to the show, then you have to pay to get it from the door to the actual location of your booth. Lightweight materials such as aluminum, as opposed to hard steel or wood, can save a ton of money and a ton of backs … or cranes.

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