Exhibiting at trade shows – the hidden costs you need to know

Without the knowledge of other costs involved, the £2000 stand you’ve just booked at your industry trade show looks like a really inexpensive way of generating new business. But is it really justifiable?

Assuming you have just bought a stand and shell scheme, you will still need to consider the following costs:

  • Show services such as lighting and electrics. These facilities are often controlled by the event organisers and can be costly. Also add on furniture hire, even carpeting. Estimated cost: £500-£1000.
  • Then there’s transportation, moving the whole stand together with any literature and other equipment, all will need to be transported to and from the show with another £500 added on to the bill.
  • Paramount to any trade show exhibition is advertising and other promotional materials which can amount to more than £1000. It’s all very well having a lovely brochure, but be aware of the cost of handing them out.
  • Once the stand and everything else is up and running, your staff will need feeding. Five staff members with breakfast, lunch and dinner over the average three days is not cheap.
  • When the exhibition is finally over, the charges keep on coming with clear up costs. Make sure you take your rubbish and leftovers with you or you may well get charged; and if your site is damaged in any way, it will more than likely result in an invoice.
  • Making sure you acquire an adequate insurance policy, not only for your goods on display, but also liability insurance should anyone hurt themselves while on your stand is crucial. And that’s not cheap either, with an expected £150 or more price tag.
  • You’re not finished yet; personnel is considered as one of the biggest costs of an exhibition. In addition, the extra £1,000 an employer will have to pay staff for longer hours, other costs such as accommodation, food, travel and parking also come into the equation.

Look at all the leads we’ve got…

The mountain of business cards you’ve collected; the dozens of quotations you were asked to supply after the event; the hours of organising them and calculating estimates; these are time consuming – as is following them up.

Then there are the decision-makers you met, or were scheduled to meet. Did they even show up to the event? If they did bother to put on an appearance, did they find your booth; did you get the chance to sit down and talk?
Originally published here

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