Cost-Saving Tips for Trade Show Services
Running the trade show circuit can be costly if you don’t know all the ways it’s possible to save money. Here are a few cost-saving tips to keep your budget and your business happy.
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Don’t Miss Early Bird Registration
This is one of the easiest ways to save money when planning your trade show exhibit. As soon as you have access to the exhibitor kit, jot down the date for discounts and when they end. It works in the show’s favor to have as many early registrants as possible.
The earlier exhibits register, the better planning they can accomplish in advance for the schedule and booth space. Most major show contractors will allow you to file online and update later if necessary. Some exhibitors save as much as 30% in labor, drayage, furnishings, electrical, and other vendor expenses.
Save On Electrical Setup
Electrical access will be billed in two ways: The energy and the labor. Any way that you can reduce the energy will automatically reduce the amount of labor required to set it all up.
A well-thought-out exhibit should have made a comprehensive list of all elements that require dedicated electrical connections. Be sure to plan for mobile devices, payment portals, speakers, TVs, laptops, and monitors.
If you’re displaying or demoing larger appliances or equipment, you’ll need more powerful outlets and access. If you can consolidate smaller items, you can avoid ordering additional outlets for your space.
Your booth’s orientation should be clearly laid out in the electrical diagram, as well as the main drop location, all provided outlets, and the listed power requirements for each outlet. If possible, rethink your need for electrical services altogether. Most common power banks can keep basic equipment charged all day, or you can pack in backup battery blocks to top off throughout the day if needed.
If your exhibit is a complex, highly digital experience, skipping electrical may not be an option.
Rigging: Do You Really Need It?
Double-check the rules for the city where your event is hosted as well as the venue and make any necessary changes to your plans. If you have any hanging elements, you may be charged a flat-rate fee for installation. Keep in mind that any changes to your arrangement may also result in additional fees later.
Some locations expect you to ship your sign in advance to the warehouse along with any installation instructions. Preparing for rigging arrangements in advance will help you predict your labor bill. The cost will vary depending on your setup and if you have one or more rigging points or any fancy extras.
With other venues and cities, the staff is allowed to assemble signs on-site on their own. Here is where minimum billed times will vary and quickly upset your budget. If one location or event has consistently higher rigging, consider changing your exhibit to limit costs, such as smaller elements or easier installation.
Overhead or ceiling electrical needs will also add to your electric labor and energy bill to suspend outlets in addition to the rigging service. Suspended and motorized signs or displays that light up will take a chunk out of your exhibit budget. Are they necessary? Or are the funds better spent elsewhere?
If you don’t absolutely require rigging, skip it. There are other, easier ways to add height to your exhibit that don’t require ceiling access. Try securing an island exhibit that usually comes with a much higher airspace limitation or mounts tall trusses to the floor to make them more secure. Signs can be mounted to trusses or towers and still give your exhibit a grand appearance without the expense of rigging.
Don’t Rent Furnishings or Other Equipment for Your Exhibit
If you need monitors, chairs, or printers for your exhibit, it can be tempting to rent them on-site to save time and money in shipping and drayage. But with reduced tech costs for common items such as flat screens, renting may not be the best investment.
If you plan to use these items at two to three shows, it’s a far better use of your budget to shop around for tech sales and furniture makers that specialize in exhibit pieces. Most quality equipment will last for several years and earn back their savings from rental costs fairly quickly.
Event Food & Beverage Costs
Offering food and beverage goods to visitors and prospects is a terrific way to get people in your booth or at your event. Take care to limit hospitality elements only to where they will have the greatest impact.
If you’re hiring an attendant for service, double-check all requirements for hourly minimums and schedule their hours when you need them the most. Or, for the lowest impact on your budget, choose unstaffed, ready-to-go options instead.
Don’t miss out on early bird savings and when planning your next event exhibit, be sure to reach out to the Exhibit team for more cost-saving tips when exhibiting at tradeshows or events.