How to save money when exhibiting
The trepidation some business owners feel at the prospect of exhibiting comes down to cost. In a time where you can technically advertise for free on social media (not as easy as it looks), why commission a contractor to build a large structure with limited applications? Surely this money could be better spent elsewhere? While it’s true that there is risk involved in exhibiting, many industries hold large-scale, annual exhibitions designed precisely to bring together buyers and sellers. These hubs of commerce contain some of the highest concentration of interested buyers of any location/time throughout the year. Nowadays, marketing through social media can feel like shouting at the moon, after which you’re left with limited customer response and a sore throat. Exhibitions, although more costly, are the antithesis of these new marketing channels. Here are some tips for reducing overheads and maximising profit at the exhibition.
Don’t wait around
The simplest way to cut down on exhibition expenses is to snag an early slot. Organisers will often have discounts for early bookings, and of course you’ll have your pick of the venue spaces. You may also be able to haggle down the price somewhat, particularly if you’re planning on repeat-attendance. Be bold, but be serious, and do the research in advance to get a head-start on the competition.
Single use or repeat?
For those planning on incorporating exhibitions into a long-term marketing strategy, a modular stand is the best choice. The re-usable frame of a modular stand offers a substantial reduction in cost when used at multiple events, with the option of adding supplementary components to make each stand slightly different from the last.
Those, however, that intend to exhibit at a limited number of shows may be better off hiring a stand rather than purchasing. At Black Robin, we give exhibitors the option of renting a stand that you assemble yourself, cutting down a significant portion of the usual exhibition cost.
Keep it in the family
Some businesses view the exhibition as a world unto itself, a foreign dimension with its own rules that necessitates hiring new, specialist staff. While exhibitions often seem like daunting, uncharted territory, the rules of marketing still apply, one of said rules being that a good salesperson knows their product. You know your business, your employees (hopefully) know your business, and there is no one better suited to the task of representing it than you and your staff. Avoid incurring costs and train your staff in a new skill domain by restricting stand personnel to in-house employees.
Too much electricity will get you over-charged
Fancy lights are nice, and they will bring the bees to the honey pot. But for those on a budget, don’t underestimate how hefty an electrical bill might be if you overload with lighting equipment. LEDs are a surefire to keep costs low, ensuring that all your lights can be hooked up to a single socket. Do the necessary research to guarantee that you don’t get zapped by unexpected lighting costs.
You’ll have to spend a decent amount to get the most out of your exhibition venture. But that doesn’t mean that frugality and smart spending should go out the window. On the contrary, early planning and intelligent preparation will increase profits and give you a confidence boost on the day, as you know that you haven’t blown the year’s marketing budget on a lavish setup that may or may not achieve the result you want. Especially for first-time exhibitors, playing it smart and easing your way into the game is a good approach. You’ll learn the rules as you go and avoid being confronted with too many zeros on your post-exhibition bill.