A successful trade show can perform ‘miracles’ for your business.
It can help you to generate a new influx of leads, spread the word about an exciting new product or find new markets for your existing products.
But trade shows are expensive, and many business struggle to turn a profit at these important marketing events.
They end up writing them off as loss makers or brand-building exercises.
They believe that display booths and networking will never generate significant leads or profits. They walk away afterwards feeling frustrated and disappointed.
But it doesn’t have to be this way…
After more than 49 combined years in the industry, we have seen that many businesses can profit immensely from trade shows – if they know what they are doing.
The secret is to keep your costs to a minimum while making your presence felt.
Sounds simple, yes.
But we have had clients who went from losing $50,000 at every trade show to earning more than $1 million by following this simple strategy.
In the following article, I want to share with you 5 methods we’ve found to be most effective for setting up profitable trade show booths with minimum expense and hassle.
Here they are…
1. Design displays to be cost-effective at a trade show
Many companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fancy displays and booths to grab attention by ‘shouting louder than the next guy’.
They falsely believe the bigger, the better.
But this is simply not true.
In fact, it’s often smaller, well-designed booths that generate a larger return on investment, which is what everyone ultimately wants.
And most of the time, all it takes is a little imagination to create a captivating trade show display without breaking the bank.
One technique we help clients with is to think of what will attract the type of customers you want.
Then build a focused display that will appeal to them.
Another way to save money is by designing trade show displays that can be easily updated year after year.
One of our clients for example, used to rebuild their structures annually.
This was time-consuming and financially draining.
Our team advised the client to invest in a flexible booth design that was adaptable and easily upgraded.
The client has saved a huge amount of money over the last 4 years.
When they need to update the graphics and make small changes to the architecture, they can now do it with minimum time and expense.
2. Plan well in advance
As the old saying goes, “It’s the early bird that catches the worm…”
Never has a phrase been truer than when it comes to trade shows.
Most trade shows offer early bird discounts that can add up to huge savings for your business.
To take advantage of these discounts, it’s a good idea to plan your marketing calendar for the year in advance.
Decide what trade shows you will attend and take a note of the registration dates. As soon as the registrations open, sign up and save.
Of course, the early-bird discount is just one advantage of being prepared.
Knowing dates and times months in advance also allows you to book hotels and flights at lower rates.
Plus, many trade shows offer the best spots at the venue on a first come, first served basis.
If you are quick off the mark, you can snap up these spots, get more visibility, and have a more successful and profitable show.
3. Save On Printing Costs
Printing and graphic design can be a very costly part of having a booth at a trade show.
Traditionally people either use MDF or foamex panels, which are cumbersome to store and update in future.
For example, with one of our clients, we printed their graphics onto fabric.
The flexibility of the material saved printing costs immensely by allowing us to stretch the signage around an aluminium frame.
It also allowed us to cut structural costs because the fabric required a lighter, cheaper frame.
This meant we were able to build a huge overhead display at minimum expense that completely dominated the event.
It grabbed the attention of everyone who walked into the venue… and our clients sold large numbers of their products directly from the stand.
A very successful project.
4. Cut Assembly And Transport Costs at a Trade Show
One of the dearest aspects of attending a trade show is getting your equipment to and from the event. This is especially true if the event is a long distance from your business address.
A badly designed display can be bulky, difficult to transport and a nightmare to assemble.
For example, one of our clients used to need a 4 tonne truck to transport their booth between events. This added huge costs and logistical headaches to attending shows.
After hiring our team, we managed to design and build a stunning new display that fit in a single crate…
The client was able to save thousands of dollars on transport costs, and every trade show was more profitable for them.
Reducing the size of the display is only one way to save. You can cut the costs of assembling the display by hiring professionals who will complete the install in less time and leave your staff rested for the event.
So there you have it. Four different ways to make more money from trade shows by minimising the costs
Try some of them out for your next event and you’ll be delighted with the results.
If you would like to discover how to reduce your trade show costs, improve your visibility and presence, and get a better return on investment from trade shows, then download our free report 7 Things You Must Know Before Hiring An Exhibition Company For Your Next Trade Show.
This report is based on over 49 years combined experience helping businesses get more leads from trade shows.