Travel and Staffing Tips to Decrease Spending for Trade Shows Post-COVID-19
Undoubtedly, 2020 will go down in marketing history books as the worst year on record for in-person trade shows. Given that trade shows are a core aspect of thousands of businesses, it’s sure to return in the coming post-COVID years–but it’s going to look a little different.
The biggest difference, experts are reporting, is a decrease in budgetary allowance for events. This is understandable given social distancing and travel guidelines; however, marketers will still face the challenge of engineering a successful exhibit on a strict budget. We’ve collected several tips on how to minimize budgetary spending on travel and staff expenditures.
Bring a Small Yet Savvy A-Team
With social distancing guidelines, it will be more challenging than ever to select a team for your event. You want just the right number of staff to ensure everyone’s safety, but also the right number to take care of any traffic that comes through your booth.
Reducing the number of staff members can be a great way to eliminate the intimidation that can happen when you have way more employees than there are attendees. It also increases your staff-travel costs.
When prepping for your event, select a team that will average out accordingly with the number of expected attendees. to efficiently collect lead information. By optimizing your staff amount, you’re not missing any attendees because of too few staffers or too much traffic. Choose team members that are your best personnel to meet your marketing objectives, but who are also as close to the conference as possible to minimize travel and lodging costs.
You may also consider hiring outside staff, although you’ll have to weigh the risks of them being unfamiliar with your brand.
Travel in post-COVID times will come with its own challenges, but there are some ways to decrease your expenditures and stay safe.
The best thing to do when booking flights and hotels is to elect one staffer to make all the reservations. This ensures that your company will be taking advantage of group deals. A good rule of thumb for flights is to book 70 days in advance and to book on a Tuesday when flights are cheaper.
Additionally, check out the venue’s hotel suggestions–they’ll often have lots of lodgings that are closest, which will save you money on any unnecessary Uber or Lyft charges. If necessary, look for a hotel closest to public transportation to avoid costly local travel expenses.
Lastly, if ride sharing or taxis are necessary try to arrange for group ground transportation. Don’t be afraid to compare prices, and even consider hiring a shuttle if your team is especially large.
Incentivize Staff Thriftiness
Your trade show staff is incredibly important, and you’ll want to make sure that they’re enjoying themselves with the appropriate number of comforts. However, it’s best to set an expenses limit. By establishing clear limits with an official travel and expense policy for travel, dining, tipping, and more, you’re ensuring frugality.
You could even implement a reward system for staying under budget, such as if a staffer were given $500 but only spent $300, they could get a $100 reward.
To further encourage thriftiness with your event staff, suggest eating together for meals. You can select an affordable restaurant and encourage group bonding, troubleshooting, and strategizing.
In post-COVID trade show budgets, the amount of money you dedicate to travel and staff can be easily optimized to save money in the long run by employing these tips:
- Bring a small team that’s perfect for in-person lead collection.
- Elect one person to book flights and hotels.
- Always choose hotels close to the venue, and travel together when possible.
- Establish a spending limit.
By using these simple tactics, you can funnel any extra cash towards other parts of your exhibit that will become more relevant in future trade show trends.