Tips for getting the most out of your money at your next trade show.
While trade shows are a great way to get your message into the minds of clients and connect with strong, qualified business leads, it is no secret that these helpful shows aren’t always the cheapest events.
Between shelling out money for a hotel room, a plane ticket, your booth fee, exhibit costs and travel expenses, you start to wonder whether or not these trade show events are costing your company more than you’re gaining in return. However, the truth is that these trade shows are a great way to promote your company’s products and services, while also forming solid connections with future clients.
If your business is thinking about making an appearance at an upcoming trade show event but can’t seem to justify the expense, there are several cost-saving measures that you can take to ensure that you have a successful trade show without incurring big expenses.
Here are just a few areas in which you can cut costs and save money at your next trade show event:
With all of the popular networking sites that are taking over the internet, there is no reason that you cannot use social media as a way to advertise your upcoming trade show exhibit. Sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow you announce when and where you will be exhibiting, and even allow you to find other professionals that will be attending the event.
There are several ways in which you can get some free marketing at the trade show itself. For instance, most shows offer free press release distribution or a complimentary description on their website for exhibitors at the event. Be sure to take advantage of these features as they are a great way to get your name out there.
While many trade shows will offer you the opportunity to rent supplies and add-ons through them, these items are usually quite costly and can bump up your trade show fee quite a bit. Instead, consider buying items such as table cloths and furniture from stores like IKEA, Kmart, Wal-Mart, etc. However, be sure to eliminate shipping and handling fees by bringing items to the show yourself, rather than through a delivery service.
Many exhibitors waist a lot of money printing and handing out brochures and flyers. Considering most of these papers end up in the trash rather than in the hands of a qualified lead, they can really be budget busters. Instead, go paperless! Ask leads for their email addresses, then offer to send them relevant product information after the event. Not only will this avoid the possibility of attendees losing your information, but it is also a great excuse for a follow up after the trade show.
Freebies and giveaways are one of the most costly add-ons of a trade show exhibit. However, if you are set on ordering promotional items for your company, be sure to keep them at the back of the booth. This way, you are not simply handing them out to each and every person that walks past your exhibit. Instead, save them for leads who are truly qualified for your products and services.
When it comes to trade shows, costs can add up relatively quickly if you are not monitoring your budget. However, as long as you plan ahead and utilize the tips and tricks mentioned above, you can ensure a successful trade show and a solid return on investment.