An online community dedicated to answering your exhibiting questions

TradeShowHelp.Org header image 2

Trade Show Budget Stretchers & Results

July 29th, 2009 by Trade Show Help --> · 5 Comments

We recently received a question regarding how to get the best results with trade shows even with budget cuts.

After countless research, we believe in pre-show marketing and targeting your show selection.

Show selection is one point that continued to come up in many conversations and was a key factor in driving results and helping reduce costs. By targeting your “niche market” with a larger presence, your company can stand out as a leader in your market.

With more careful and earlier planning of your trade show season, you can reduce unnecessary expenses. Many exhibitors rely on online trade show management programs, that allow them access 24/7 to their booth staff, shipping and scheduling of events. This way you are not over staffing your booth, and you know when and where items will be at any given time. Reducing the last minute shipping charges for literature or missing components.

Lighter weight exhibits and modular solutions also will decrease your shipping and drayage costs drastically. With re-configurable portable solutions, you can stretch your marketing dollars.

Creating a process for follow up to measure your results to target your most successful shows will also help stretch your marketing dollars. If you notice poor performance from a certain trade show but fairly decent performance from another trade show, why not concentrate your efforts on the show that gives you the best results.

Managing your trade show leads is one of the best practices for success at trade shows. Always implement a plan for lead follow up, even before the doors to the trade show open. Whether it be outsourcing your trade show lead follow up or implementing your staff into using online software to manage and track your leads, you will see the results and see where your efforts are paying off.

Tags: Event Marketing · Saving Money Exhibiting · Show Selection · Trade Show Marketing · Trade Show ROI

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Kye Swenson // Jul 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    I agree with managing trade shows online. Virtual trade shows are becoming more prominent in the trade show industry, and large ones with thousands of attendees are becoming more popular. This past January, Sony held a virtual trade show and said that it cut costs by almost 50% in comparison to a real-world trade show. There is a cool blog post about it here:

    Digital trade shows will become even more popular within the next year, along with trade show avatars, so it’s worth looking into.

  • 2 Candy Adams // Jul 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I have some recommendations on budgeting and show success (meeting ROI/ROO/ROR):
    1) Determine your show strategy and prioritize your goals. Decide how much to spend on meeting your various objectives (i.e. qualified leads, branding/awareness, attendee education, and media coverage).
    2) Determine who you most want to reach at the show and focus on those X # of people. Consider everyone else you happen upon as “gravy”.
    3) Determine the key message(s) you want your target market to remember and what you will do to insure that memorability.
    4) Plan your tactics around 1 – 3 above.
    5) When budgeting, don’t scrimp on
    a) things the show attendee will see
    b) things that will help you meet your show goals/objectives.
    c) things of value to your prospects/customers and exhibit program. Evaluate value first, cost second.
    6) Plan your timeline to take advantage of all show discounts; if vendors don’t offer a discount, ask!

  • 3 Promotional Products // Aug 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Thanks for these great tips. With so many budget concerns, it is necessary to manage trade shows effectively in order to receive the most beneficial results.

  • 4 Mike Mitrevski // Sep 2, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Post-show direct mailings are a great inexpensive way to qualify the leads you generate at a trade show. Before you spend a lot of time on calling every lead, you can make sure that your lead is worth your time.

  • 5 kim // Sep 17, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Great tips! I agree, the more research you put into your marketing plan the better. The more prepared you are and the more you know your target audience the better chance you have of achieving or exceeding your expectations.

Leave a Comment