7 Tips to Achieve Booming Trade Show Success on a Budget


Trade shows present a great opportunity for small entrepreneurs to launch their brands. These shows allow brands to get media exposure and develop long term business relationships.

While they are highly effective in terms of getting more eyes on your brand and products, they can also be quite expensive. However, there are several cost-cutting methods you can employ to get the most out of your trade show participation without burning a hole in your pocket.

In this post, we will share essential tips that will help you save a lot of time and money while ensuring you achieve your marketing and sales goals. The following 7 tips that can be applied to any business trying to participate in a trade show.

Opt for Exhibit Booth Rentals

One of the major expenses of trade show participation is creating the custom booth from scratch. However, if you are looking to save money you should plan on renting your exhibit instead of getting it custom built. This does two things. Firstly, you reduce your effort that would otherwise go into creating a custom booth. Exhibit booth rentals also save you more than 50% of the total cost of purchasing a booth. Keep in mind that this is probably not the way to go if you are planning on attending multiple trade shows as the rental cost would exceed the cost of buying the booth.

Start Early to Avoid the Last-Minute Rush

Saving money and rushing are two things that do not go together. You forfeit your option to bargain if you are in a hurry and everyone from vendors to organizers will take advantage of that. Make sure you get the supplies you need well in advance. This also holds true when hiring staff members or when booking your spot at the trade show.  

Go Paperless

Printing pamphlets and other materials can be expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to spread the message without printing pamphlets. Instead of giving business cards or pamphlets ask people to leave their email addresses. Once they do, you can send them the product information. You can also print a QR code and place it in a visible location. You can set it up in a way that scanning the code will take customers looking for more information to your website.

Take Advantage of All the Complimentary Marketing Channels

Trade shows are often riddled with YouTubers and media guys. Talk to them and ask them if they can do an interview. This really is a win-win scenario as they too need content for their channels. Ask the trade show organizers if they are offering a free press release as a lot of them do. Ask them to list your booth on the event website.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

One of the best and free ways to get the word out there is social media.  Instead of directly promoting the product you are trying to sell talk about discounts, offers, and the benefits. You can even hire a part-time social media marketing expert to post photos of the booth and customer interactions and post it on social media. You can even incentivize people coming into your booth with additional discounts for sharing photos of the booth in their social media pages.

Speak to the Organizers for a Bargain or a Better Booth Location

Organizers are often flexible in terms of booth locations especially if you talk to them well in advance. You will be surprised to know that a lot of similarly priced booth spaces can witness vastly different foot traffic based solely on their locations. For example, most trade shows have an expensive rate for booths located near the entrance. However, you can bargain and get a booth located in a lane near the entrance gate. You can also pick a spot that’s visible from the entrance but not near it.

Organizers can even give you a special discounted rate. Just because they have a rate chart for different booths doesn’t mean you don’t get to bargain. Most organizers are more than happy to give about a 10 percent discount in order to make a sale.

Hire an Independent Graphic Designer to Create Materials for the Show

Unless you are a graphic designer, you would need help creating signages for the show. There are plenty of platforms you can go to in order to find creative graphic designers at low costs. Try sites like Fiverr and Upwork as these sites always have a plentiful supply of graphic designers looking for work.

Guest PostsLogan Lenz