According to the Trade Show Institute, the average trade show exhibitor spends 47% of their budget on the exhibit alone. This includes the design cost (11%) and renting exhibit space (36%). So it is a good idea to allocate around 50% of your total budget to your trade show exhibit itself and anticipate that your total trade show cost will be around three times the cost of the exhibit space. So if your exhibit space for a show costs £2500, your ballpark total budget should be £7500.
The next greatest chunk of budget (17%) should be allocated to the variety of trade show services. Including lighting, carpet/flooring hire, internet connection, storage, - there can be hundreds of little hidden costs that quickly add up.
Then comes travel: the average trade show exhibitor spends 14% of their budget on travelling to the event, accommodation, and entertaining.
Don’t forget the shipping of displays and stands. This accounts for 10% of the total average budget but it can be higher or lower depending on the size, weight and complexity of your stand.
The remaining budget (14%) should be allocated to promotion (10%), lead management and measurement (3%), exhibit staff training (1%).
This is a very basic, ballpark guide on budgeting for tradeshows. (I am aware the numbers do not add up to 100%, this is because they are based on averages so some rounding is involved!)
See our article, 10 Ways To Exhibit at a Tradeshow on a Budget for ideas on how to minimise all of these costs and look out for more detailed exploration of all things trade show in our ever-growing Trade Show Tips series.