5 Tips for Trade Show Exhibiting on a Budget

June 14, 2015

Kristin Hovde

Kristin Hovde is the Website Manager and Blogger for Smash Hit Displays, an online trade show display company that has many booths, accessories, and flooring available.

Whether you are running a small business or are part of a Fortune 500 company, trade shows can be extremely beneficial to the success of your business. Through this marketing medium, small businesses will be at an equal playing field with their more established, larger competitors; and in this game, it isn’t always about who spent the most money, but rather who was more prepared.

If you are looking to get the name of your business into the minds of your potential customers, then here are 5 tips that will allow you to do so effectively, without spending a fortune.

1. Stay Local

Traveling to trade shows and expos can get pretty expensive, especially when you factor in the hotel, transportation, and dining costs. In order to keep your expenses low, participate in as many local events as possible. You’ll be connecting with people that live and work within the community without spending an insane amount on traveling. It’s a win-win.

2. Rent a Trade Show Display

Trade show display rentals allow you to use an innovative, extravagant display at a fraction of what it would cost to purchase one. Not to mention that you would not have to spend money on a storage facility for the booth since the company you rented it from will take care of the storing it at their warehouse after the event.  Once you do begin to feel more comfortable at trade shows, purchasing one would be a great investment that would pay for itself in a couple of shows.

3. Hold a Contest

Most exhibitors splurge on giveaway items to hand out to everyone that stops by their trade show display, including pens, mugs, and flashlights. In order to save your money on these little trinkets, holding a contest may be the most cost effective way to go. Have a drawing for one of your products or services by having those who are interested put their business card or contact information into a container. This idea will not only save you money, but will also weed out those people who aren’t interested in your products or services from those who are highly interested.

4. Promote Your Booth

With social media and digital marketing, print ads are a thing of the past. Prior to the event, promote your booth through your social media channels, blog posts, and press releases. Don’t forget to include information about the expo, such as your booth number and location, as well as the time and date of the event. It costs little to no money and will drive more traffic to your trade show booth.

5. Go With a Small Trade Show Booth

The bigger booths are not always the ones that get the most attention, just the ones that cost the most. Table top, portable, or banner displays are all affordable options that, if designed effectively, could have attendees remembering you long after the show is over. Consider hiring a trade show display graphic designer to create professional, eye-catching graphics for better results.

Trade show exhibiting doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is one of the best ways to meet your audience face-to-face, boost your brand awareness and generate leads. These tips will help you stay on budget, while still making an impact at the show. 

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Partner Voices

Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.