How to Launch a Low-Cost Exhibit
If you haven’t set up an exhibit before, it can be easy to rack up expenses. But just because you’re new to exhibiting doesn’t mean you have to pay like it. There are plenty of ways to set up immersive, effective marketing exhibits without breaking the bank.
Take Advantage of Discounts and Freebies
Never run an exhibit before? You’d be surprised at how often that can come in handy. Many trade shows offer discounts for first-time exhibitors. These deals sometimes have catches. It’s common for discounted booths to be placed in less central locations of a trade show.
There might even be a limit on how large you can make your booth. But if this is your first time exhibiting, these discounts can give you the flexibility to scope out particular trade shows and make smarter investments in the future. Not to mention you’ll go into future shows knowing how to maximize your booth’s marketing potential.
But first-timer discounts aren’t the only promotions trade shows offer. It’s not unusual for shows to send out emails and other collateral to their list of attendees, which you can use to market before the show begins.
The best part? Often these email campaigns and other marketing materials will cost no money to get your business included on them. If you haven’t already done so, reach out to whoever manages your upcoming trade show to see if you can take advantage of any discounts or other freebies.
It costs a lot to ship materials to the trade show’s city. If you can reduce the miles your materials have to travel, you can dramatically cut the costs of your first exhibit. Rather than relying on suppliers local to your business to supply exhibit materials, do some investigating into the host city.
By shopping local (to the trade show), you’ll do more than just cut back the overall cost of your exhibit. You’ll also lower the odds of unexpected snags, delays, or other problems that can naturally arise from transporting materials long-distance. And that will ensure everything is ready to go on the day of the trade show.
Practice Your Speaking Voice
One of the biggest dilemmas at your first-trade show will be generating awareness. How can you bring foot traffic and visibility to your booth, especially when you’re up against larger, more established competitors?
Speakers rarely if ever pay money to speak at trade shows, which means that if you can land a speaking slot and build a compelling presentation, you can gain a significant amount of visibility at no cost. Talk to the trade show managers about giving a presentation (not a sales pitch), in order to raise your profile. You might be surprised by what they say!
Exhibits are an all-hands-on-deck occasion. Don’t be afraid to make the most of the resources you might have available. Consider purchasing and building your own exhibit materials. Is one of your employees great with Photoshop? Maybe now is the time to call on them to help design your marketing materials, rather than bringing in an outside graphic designer you’ll have to pay even more money for.
Exhibiting turns into a pain when you don’t understand where you’re losing money, or when costs appear that you didn’t initially plan for. So, pay special attention to where you’re spending money in the lead-up to the trade show. By cataloging where your money is going, including for expenses such as transportation and your exhibit materials, you can make sure to make the most of every cost-cutting avenue available.