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Old 13th January 2009, 04:37 PM   #1

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 14
Cool Cutting Trade Show Costs

How do you help cut trade show costs? Let's create a list of things small businesses can do to cut costs, I'll start.

1. Rent a booth instead of buying one

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Old 11th February 2009, 03:37 AM   #2

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Posts: 13

Its up to you. But according to me first of all your trade show is organized in morning time which will help to reduce some additional light costs.

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Old 11th February 2009, 09:10 AM   #3

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Location: Cincinnati, OH
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To get the most out of a booth, plan ahead. I've designed 40x40 double decker booths that were easier and quicker to sign off on than a few 20x20s and one 10x20 in particular.

1.) If you're the one in charge of getting the booth together, get at least 3-5 days of research about what you're looking for. Learn the terminology; it makes everyone's life easier. Being able to communicate effectively shortens the time for graphic production and any possible custom fabrication. Hourly rates for design time may not seem like much at first, but when a designer interprets what you say differently than you meant, that's money gone.

2.) If you see something you like in a catalog and only plan to go to one show for this year, rent it. Not only will you save money on the initial cost, but you'll be saving money on storage as well.

3.) If you plan on attending multiple shows, buy one. The rental fees will add up.

4.) If you must have something custom made, determine why you really need it. If it's functional, that's a good reason to do it. If it simply looks good, you might be able to look elsewhere and see if there's something that is close to the style you're looking for. Not only is custom fabrication expensive, it's usually VERY heavy.

5.) Keep weight down. If you have the opportunity to replace wood panels with fabric and aluminum frame, DO IT. If you attend multiple shows, the shipping and drayage will make up the difference in cost quickly!!!

6.) Try to do as little permanent modification as possible. If you apply a laminate to a panel, make sure you want that color for a long time. If not, look into having cut vinyl or possibly a large digital print on mild adhesive backed vinyl applied. It can be replaced easily without destroying the panel.

7.) Use colors and walls to dictate meeting areas vs. advertising areas. Too many times I've seen booths designed with door panels to separate an office or conference area where an elongated wall with an opening would suffice. Again, it cuts weight, which cuts shipping and drayage.

8.) If your business is on the up and up and you want to purchase instead of rent, look into getting a booth/display that is larger than you want, but can be reconfigured to many sizes. One of the booths that I've recently designed is a 30x30 but can be changed to a 20x30, 20x20, 10x20, or a 10x10 without losing its appeal.

9.) Double Decker booths are enticing, but make sure that you have the square footage to use it. Keep the walls of the upper floor relatively closed off to viewing the entire convention center. A second floor is no good if it the view of other booths better up there than on the floor.

It's also a good idea to use the top floor as the office area instead of a product show floor. Most people won't want to go up stairs to look at something, but the separation of the office will create a more intimate and secluded setting; your potential customer will feel as if he/she is be granted access to what would otherwise be uncharted territory. Making a customer feel welcome is good, but making them feel special is much better.

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Old 11th February 2009, 09:19 AM   #4

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Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 5

Forgot one....

Spend your money on graphics! Changing up your graphics will keep a booth looking fresh and will prevent you from having to rebuild or replace parts of your booth. Ever notice how a room looks so much different with a coat of paint and a few pictures? Same thing applies here except it only takes a few minutes to do it instead of a day or two.

One of our booths has magnetic plex panels that allow the customer to swap our graphics at their discretion. They don't need anyone from show services to clear it through and they don't need a second person to help swap out the graphics. They can revolve their graphic collection and target different customers within a few minutes. Plus, the plex protects the graphics from damage. They use the booth for four shows a year for their men's apparel, women's apparel, infant/toddler, and athletic apparel. Each show caters to only one of those demographics. The booth stays the same; only the graphics and products change.

How's that for versatility?

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Old 20th February 2009, 10:21 AM   #5

Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 14

These are all great tips, keep them coming!

I'd also like to add this article:

Event Marketing on a Budget

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Old 1st June 2009, 05:51 AM   #6

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Posts: 2

This discussions are useful.To get trade shows in low cost, i would like to recommend you to visit thompsonkerr.com

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Old 1st June 2009, 11:42 AM   #7

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Posts: 8

To agree with Alex, rental fees add up. These days you can get a complete booth for the cost of a rental (or less).

Second, fabric displays are very light. Your shipping costs will be lower. And if you ship directly from the manufacturer to your show you will save on the double-shipping.

Third, your ad message, products or services will probably change in a year or two, so you just need something that is sturdy, looks good, and is good enough. You don't need it to last 10 years. Imagine some booth at a show with the same designs they had 10, 5 or even 2 years ago -- outdated and no good.

Fourth, add it all up and calculate the total price. How much does it cost for the structure/frame, the printed graphics, the graphic design service, the shipping, and the sales tax.

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Old 20th July 2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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Location: Chicago Area
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There are many ways to cut cost, lighter more portable modular exhibits are one way, they save on freight costs and are easily interchangeable and can be used in different sizes quite easily.

Online event management also is a great tool to track your ROI for trade shows. Without the ability to see where your dollars are being spent it is tough to judge the best place to cut costs.

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Old 24th July 2009, 06:52 PM   #9

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Location: Colton, CA
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we also offer super duper cheap banner stands, retractable ones you can easily put up in less than 30 seconds ...you can a retractable stand for under 100 shipped

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Old 6th September 2009, 12:34 AM   #10

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Posts: 24

In the long run, you are not saving money by renting a booth instead of buying one. It's a good temporary solution for a company that can't afford it at the moment, but if they plan on doing serious trade show marketing then they should really invest in a display of their own.

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