Exhibiting At Trade Shows Is More Affordable Then You Think
Most marketers understand that exhibiting at trade shows is a very effective marketing technique. The chance to meet face-to-face with most of your biggest prospects in one place over a multi-day period is a marketers dream. If you’ve targeted the right show for your company, you have a great chance of acquiring new business.
The major knock against trade shows has always been cost. The truth is exhibiting at a show is expensive. You have to factor in costs such as exhibit space rental, booth construction, travel, shipping, labor, associated show marketing, and additional expenses charged by show management. It isn’t cheap. However I do have some good news. The costs associated with exhibiting at a show are getting much lower. Let’s take a look at a few of the reasons that exhibiting costs are going down.
1. Large amount of convention space -The late 90s and early 2000s saw a huge boom in the construction of convention space around the country. Major cities saw the benefit of attracting shows to their cities and so they built and built. Today, there is a surplus supply of quality exhibit space all around the country. This means that the competition for shows is fierce and rates are going down. This increased competition has also forced labor rates to fall as well. Lower rates for convention space trickles down to exhibitors and means lower space rental and associated show fees.
2. Lightweight exhibits – 15 years ago, there was one thing you knew about your display. It was going to be heavy. Wood panels and laminate were the dominant design features and this meant that your exhibit was going to be real heavy and real expensive to ship. Today, most displays feature major sections of lightweight printed fabric graphics. Exhibits today weigh nearly a quarter of what they did over a decade ago. This means lower shipping and drayage costs.
3. Cheaper displays – Exhibit displays simply cost a lot less than they did 10 years ago. There are a number of reasons. First, the internet increased competition and removed the monopoly that some display providers had on their local customers. Additionally, lower cost products produced overseas have also dramatically cut prices. The price savings are amazing. 15 years ago, a 10’ x 10’ pop-up display with a fully printed graphic cost around $6,000. Today, you can get a lightweight fully printed curved display of the same size that weighs ¼ of what the old pop-ups did for less than $1,000.
The bottom line is if you made the decision 10 years ago that exhibiting at trade shows was simply too expensive, you might want to take another look. New market conditions mean, the time may be right to add a very effective new tool to your marketing plan.