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No Photos 14th Dec 2016
How to Make an Accurate Trade Show Budget

If your small business is planning to exhibit at a trade show it is often hard to figure out the budget and where the money goes. And it's important to get a handle on the full cost to hold the business on its budget and get a good return on your capital. There are plenty of added expenses in addition the trade fair exhibit and most are "hidden" or difficult to see. The list below can help you track your total expenses so you will not be disappointed and can make wise decisions.Initially, the company will take a trade fair space enrollment fee - what you are being charged to rent a booth on the trade show floor. This is literally simply the space - it ordinarily does not cover anything in addition. Count on spending $10-$30 per square foot of area. So if your firm utilizes a 10 x 10 ft space, plan to spend one to three thousand dollars for the comany's booth area, and so forth. The trade show booth space fee is essential to nail down because it's significant and also since it dictates the dimension and type of trade show booth your company can get (if your firm is purchasing one). As an example, if your company plan to use a ten x 20, your company will need to budget for more than just retractable banner stands.After that, determine travel, accommodation and incidentals for the employees that will operate the space. A reliable guide is that you will require one staff member for each fifty sq ft of trade show booth space to provide your company ample coverage but not make the trade show space to appear crowded. So if you plan on using a ten x 20 trade show booth space, your company should assume you will have four staff members to be in your company's trade show booth. Depending on the exhibit floor hours and the length of the expo open hours, your company might be required to provide breaks and that is likely to mean bringing more than 4 people, each of whom will need to travel to and from the expo (airfare, taxicab or hired car payments, parking), hotel rooms (one or two to a room?) and incidentals. They'll probably also do some "entertaining" or socializing, so there may be extra costs if your company's firm reimburses these. Your business may possess policies for these charges, but a good guide is $250 for each person for each day plus airfare.Next estimate the cost of the trade expo exhibit (unless the business already possesses one it can use). Banner stands start at several hundred dollars, pop up displays normally cost one to two thosand dollars depending on options, modular models generally cost $2,500-$5,000 for a ten by ten trade show display (proportionately bigger for bigger booths) and truss displays cost $3,000-$6,000 for a 10 x ten trade show display (bigger exhibits are typically proportionately more expensive). These are expenditures for the basic trade show booth and a shipping case - don't forget the trade fair display delivery case if you plan on getting a exhibit or scouting quotes. You absolutely need one - the majority of the time your company's exhibit is likely to ship by UPS, FedEx, on the airline as checked luggage or as freight. You need a hard-wearing trade expo display travel container to make it last a long time and look high-quality. If you plan to hire a trade fair display instead of buy, a pop up will cost $600-$800 for a 3 day rental, a 10 by ten truss or modular exhibit will cost $1,500-$3,000 for a 3 day rental. Bigger displays cost proportionately more.What about graphics? Banner stands are usually sold with graphic panels for convenience, so if you are ordering fresh banner stands you should be covered. If you are ordering a pop up display, your company is likely to order smaller detachable artwork (2 x three feet, for instance) that will adhere to the cloth panels on the comany's pop up or you can buy "full mural" pop up graphics that swathe the whole front of the pop up display. Detachable graphics commonly cost a few hundred dollars while complete mural graphics cost between one thousand and twenty five hundred dollars, based on in what way the graphics are constructed. Pay attention to just how your printer shows they manufacture graphic panels. A number of artwork panels are constructed using "direct print" techniques, meaning there is not a defensive coat layer over top of the printed surface. These graphic panels can cost as little as seven hundred and fifty dollars for complete mural panels - nevertheless they are usually considered as one use. Then there are laminated graphics - these have a durable protective layer (typically 8-15mm thick) to protect against scrapes, scratches, spills, etc. And either laminated or unlaminated graphics may have a "light block" backing or printed material to make your graphics stand out and "pop" more. All of these techniques cost different amounts - unlaminated direct print graphics are the least expensive and least durable - laminated with light blocker are the most durable and best looking but cost more. If you are using (buying or renting) a truss or a modular display, you may want fabric graphics - a great looking and convenient choice. Plan to spend $2,000-$4,000 for fabric graphics for a 10 x 10 truss or modular trade show display.How about trade show display accessories? Trade fair carpet is typically five to sven dollars per square foot based on the quality of flooring - from basic foam to attractive laminates with relaxing foam backing. You may rent it for four dollars per square foot. Basic portable podiums are priced at four to five hundred to buy and can go as high as $2,000 if your company need features like video screen poles or multiple work surfaces. You can rent them for roughly $250 per expo. How about screens for the comany's trade fair exhibit? Assume you will spend a few hundred dollars on the monitor mount and attachment and at least several hundred on the video screen itself, depending on the dimension. You can rent a monitor, but you probably won't save any money compared to buying one. So monitor rentals really only make sense if you're also renting the trade show booth or if you can't use them a second time. Also, you will need a case for the monitor so it can be shipped safely.Also, make sure you don't ignore the expenses of shipping the display and equipment to the trade show convention center, moving it around and setting up. Shipping portable displays like banner stands, cloth displays and pop up exhibits is comparatively inexpensive: usually $100 or a smaller amount for ground shipping. Modular booths in a 10 x 10 size will cost about $200 (ground) and truss models can cost $300-$500 (ground) for a 10 x 10 display. Take into account - you should double these expenses because you will need to ship the display back when the trade show is over. Larger displays will cost proportionately more - it's just a matter of size and weight. Once your display arrives at the trade show venue, you van wheel or carry it in as it's a portable or a small modular display (10 x 10). For truss or larger modular displays, you will have to pay a fee to have these brought in - this is called called drayage charges. Plan to spend 80 cents per pound for in and out drayage - so if you have a 400 pound truss the charges will be $320 (total to bring it in and remove it). As for set up charges, your company is usually allowed to set up a 10 x 10 display - from pop up display, fabric display or truss - by yourself without hiring labor (and assuming set up doesn't require the use of tools). However, if you have a larger display or your smaller display requires the use of tools, the trade show organizer may require your company to hire labor at the trade show venue to set the trade show display up. This labor typically costs $90-$125 per hour and there are often minimums and overtime rates, so check in advance to find out what your company will need.Finally, consider show services? You may need electrical service in your trade show booth, even if it's just to run a few lights or a monitor (remember, this - - usually isn't included with your booth fee. So you'll have to get power and other services from the show organizer, who can can present a list of available services for your company to choose from.Trade shows can be expensive. But with a thoughtful approach and planning, your company can create accurate budgets for its upcoming trade show and this will help decide where the money will go.Author's Bio: Ted Ridgway is President of Impact Displays, which provides a full range of trade show displays and trade show graphics as well as ideas to make your next trade expo a triumph. Impact Displays is headquartered at 1934 Junction Avenue in San Jose and can be reached by calling 877-217-6850 or by emailing

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