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Get more bang for your buck at trade shows – tips for cutting costs

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Trade shows can really take the lion’s share of your marketing budget. If planned efficiently and well in advance, you might be able to cut costs and get more bang for your buck…

Get more bang for your buck at trade shows – tips for cutting costs

Tips for saving at trade shows – get the most bang for your buck

Trade shows can really take the lion’s share of your marketing budget. If planned efficiently and well in advance, you might be able to cut costs and get more bang for your buck.

Be on the lookout for early bird offers – many trade show organisers have early bird discount deadlines before which you can avail of discounts for registrations, booth spaces and even sponsorships. After this deadline, the prices usually hike. It’s best to make sure that you are in regular contact with the show organizers and that your email is in their mailing list so you can stay informed.

Book travel well in advance – as soon as you decide which employees will attend the show, make travel arrangements to avoid paying last-minute expenses.

Advance orders and bulk material purchasing  – Try to have all your gift items ready so that you are not paying rush fees and dealing with expensive shipping costs. Try to order all your items and print materials at one time so you can get quantity discounts from your suppliers.

Exhibitor Manual – although it can be quite taxing to read through an entire exhibitor manual, the show organizers have put together this information because they know it will be of use to you. Read through the manual, figure out what services you need to order and see if there are any discounts for ordering any of these services early. For most companies, their contractor handles service orders so clarify this with your contractor so that you’re both on the same page.

Staff – don’t just bring employees to fill the booth. Choose staff that will play an essential role at the trade show. Where possible, use local temps (for roles such as receptionists) and see if any employees can adopt a double role.

Catering – do not over order food and beverages. Not only will your kitchen space most likely be limited, a lot of food at shows ends up going to waste. Decide on how much you need to order based on booth-visitor statistics at your last show.

DIY – flowers and other items that are ordered on-site can be a lot more expensive than local florists or furniture rental companies. See what you can do yourself and you will be surprised at the difference in price.

Transport – at most big conventions, free shuttles run from hotels to the show. See if there are public transport routes and free shuttles that staff can take to attend the show so you can cut down on taxi expenses. Otherwise, arrange a car for employees to avoid each person taking separate taxis.

Necessities – ask yourself whether something is a necessity before ordering it.

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