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How much should I spend on a trade show display?


How much should I spend on a trade show display?

How much should I spend on a trade show display?

Whether your business is a new start up or established firm, most marketers know the benefits of participating in trade shows.

Trade shows are effective face-to-face marketing events where you can meet with people who, by their very attendance, are interested in your industry. That creates a great opportunity for you to capture sales leads from qualified prospects.

Participating in trade shows also levels the playing field. From giant multinational corporations to locally-owned small businesses, every exhibitor has access to the same visitors at trade shows.

But while the advantages of displaying your goods and services in trade shows are well known, one question often goes unanswered: How much should I spend on a trade show display?

One “rule of thumb” is that you should spend from one percent to 10 percent of sales per year on marketing in total. This percentage may be more (or less), depending how long you’ve been established, your industry, and how much can you comfortably afford.

If deciding to exhibit at events and devote a percentage of your marketing budget to them, the research firm MarketingProfs provides this ballpark budget for tradeshows. The breakdown of costs looks like this:

  • 12% for display costs
  • 28% for space rentals
  • 21% for booth staffing
  • 19% for shipping, set-up and on-site logistics, such as lighting and carpet rental
  • 20% for promotional items

When it comes to the roughly 12% you’ll budget for the display itself, these considerations will drive your trade show display costs:

1. Determine the purpose of the display. At some events, a large and flashy display may well help you make valuable connections. That said, going over the top in your efforts may put off some prospects. Begin by considering what makes sense for your industry. One tip when figuring trade show display costs? Look at other displays from previous shows to see which ones are working … and which ones are not.

2. Figure out how big a staff you’ll need. If you anticipate a lot of traffic, a larger team — and bigger display — will be needed. That said, if you’ll have one person available, a smaller display will suffice. He or she won’t be overwhelmed by the size, and you’ll economize on the trade show display design cost.

3. Consider if you’ll need a private area. Some exhibitors like to set aside a private area where negotiations may take place or sensitive information can be discussed. Generally, that means a bigger booth which will, of course, affect your trade show display design cost.

4. Decide if you need technology. Digital displays and even interactive ones are a plus for most exhibits. But, should they figure into your company’s event budget? The answer is “yes” if your business is focused on technology. If not, you may be able to forego these items and minimize your trade show display design cost.

Bottom line? Considering the alternatives, trade shows may be worth every penny.

In justifying your event budgeting, consider this research from The Business Expo Center. It suggests your investment may well be worth it:

  • The average cost of a face-to-face meeting at the prospect’s office? $259. The average cost of a face-to-face meeting with a prospect at a trade show? Only $142!

For expert assistance with trade show displays, rely on the pros at Signs Now®.

Signs Now provides the direction and state-of-the-art technology to make sure your business is projecting the right image. Of course, our expertise extends to trade show and exhibit displays of all types, and for any budget. We invite you to learn more about what Signs Now can do for you. To get started, contact us today.


Trade Show Display