30 - 03 - 16

It’s all about results: How to budget for your stand?

This article will show you how to prepare a budget for an exhibition or trade show. Setting a budget for an exhibition is the same as any other marketing activity, you need to ensure that you achieve maximum return on your investment.

More often than not we do not have the luxury of setting our own exhibition budget, normally this has been handed to us as a set figure with the numbers pulled from thin air, or “this is what we have spent for the past 10 years!”. From experience, the budget set from above method is usually unrealistic and is unlikely to help you achieve your goal.

By preparing a budget or costing schedule for a trade show will enable you to clearly identify your projected spend and communicate this to the wider team and, if done well, save some money!

An exhibition can arguably offer the best ROI ratio of any form of marketing. Approximately 91% of all visitors to any event are personally involved in the buying of products and services on offer (Association of Exhibition Organisers).

1. Agree the goal for your presence at an exhibition

What do you want to achieve at the exhibition you are attending? Is your goal to gain more sales leads for your product and service? Is your goal to meet existing clients of your products and services?

Don’t just attend an exhibition because the rest of the industry attends – make sure that your presence will benefit your business.

2. Understand how you will get a return on your investment

Without previous experience at an exhibition this can be a challenging task, however, as the marketing manager or business owner you are best placed to make some assumptions, these should be based on your knowledge of the industry and any show research conducted.

Questions that are important to answer this question are:

  • What is the projected footfall for the show? The show organisers will normally have this data.
  • What percentage of visitors will pass your stand and engage with your staff? Look at the location of your stand, is it near an entrance, coffee shop or another business which is normally busy.
  • What percentage of visitors are likely to require your product and service? Not everyone will need your service, so don’t aim to go after every visitor!