The #1 Way to Save Money on Trade Show Booths in 2023

January 16, 2023

A new year means a fresh new trade show budget. As event marketing professionals across the globe are strategizing and planning for 2024, one thing that’s top of mind for everyone is the increasing cost to exhibit. Trade show booths aren’t cheap. So how can event planners maximize these marketing dollars in the face of inflation, labor shortages, and economic instability?

How to save money on trade show booths.

Sean Combs, President and CEO at Steelhead Productions explains that the concept of saving money in 2023, and as we head into 2024, is extremely challenging because it implies that costs have remained the same, which is not at all our reality.

In recent times of battling inflation, we’ve all been impacted by some obvious cost increases in fuel and onsite labor. But all costs associated with executing a trade show are all over the board depending on the city, venue, and regulations. The one thing all of these costs have in common is that they’ve all gone up, up, up.

Instead, Sean suggests switching perspective a bit to instead focus on ways to maximize impact with fewer funds. He shares his number one tip for event planners and it’s simpler than you might have thought:

Communicate with your trade show vendors and designers.

To expand a bit on that, it’s important to communicate in a timely manner with your trade show partners; preferably, as soon as the booth space is selected for the trade show.

 Luckily, with some thoughtful considerations in the exhibit design, event marketers still have some control in either keeping costs minimal or knowing where to prioritize for greater impact. Your trade show partner is (or, should be!) the expert on design impact as well as in-market costs. By starting your planning and communication well in advance, all parties involved will have the time and flexibility to incorporate trade show booth design that meets the moment while prioritizing those event dollars.  

3 factors driving costs in trade show booths.

These are the top three things driving the overall costs of your tradeshow booth.

  1. The size of the space. Obviously, the bigger the space, the more architecture is needed to fill it.
  2. The location of the event. The same exact trade show booth will be more expensive in Philadelphia and Chicago than in Dallas or Orlando.
  3. The trade show booth design. What we decide to put in this space drives the cost. Check out this blog on the top five factors affecting costs in your trade show booth rental.


“2023 trade show budgeting is really about how to employ design tactics that make the most impact,” says Sean. “Having clear objectives and an understanding of what funds we have to work with really begins in the creative process.”

The right exhibit partner can inform and educate you and your team on how to maximize funds for design impact in your trade show booth rental. Contact us today to get started on your next event!

January 16, 2023
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