We had the opportunity to review our tradeshow budget against our final costs at the ExhibitorLive 2015 show we attended. I am happy to say that we came in under budget! Of course, we have an advantage since we do this for a living, but it is easy for costs to get out of control. So this week I want to go over our tradeshow budget. I will break it down into two categories – show costs and exhibit costs.
So what was our show cost budget?
- Booth space fee – $3,900
- Accommodations – $900
- Per Diem – $600
- Shipping – $2,100
- Drayage – $1,000
- Electrical – $400
- Installation and Dismantle – $1,600
- Exhibitor Staff labor – $1,900
- Ad space in the Exhibit City News magazine – $600.00
The total show cost budget was $13,000.00
Next was our exhibit cost budget:
- We had to modify our studio exhibit from a 10’ x 13’ backwall to fit into a 10’ x 10’ booth space at $1,500
- We needed to purchase 4 new fabrics for side panels and fit them into existing beMatrix frames that we use for our rental stock at $1,600
- Purchase software and sound equipment additions – $500
- Modify counters and add graphic wraps – $800
- Estimate design, fabrication, and project management labor at $1,500
- The same with marketi ng and administrative labor @ $1,600
- Purchase new carpet – $500
- Purchase 1,000 shot glasses for give-a-ways and the corresponding design time for artwork – $2,000
- Pull, prep, pack and load – $900
- And finally the return and reinstallation of the exhibit back in our showroom at $900
The total exhibit cost budget was $11,800
If you combine the show budget and the exhibit budget for this project then our total budget for this show is over $24,000. Remember, this is just for our little 10 x 10 exhibit. So you can see how important it is to budget for a show. Costs can add up quickly.
A budget does three basic things:
- It gives everyone involved a baseline to monitor their costs.
- It provides critical data for future budgets and measuring ROI.
- It helps prevent invoice sticker shock later on when all costs finally come in.
Now a lot of companies exclude salaried employees and other costs stating that they come out of different budgets like sales or overhead budgets. I understand the reasoning behind this if you are doing budgets by department. Most show budgets are set by the Marketing Department. I am not a big proponent of this as it tends to downplay the overall company costs associated with the show and can show a better ROI number for each event. Anyway, you have to decide what goes into your show budget numbers to accurately assess the value of each show.
Next week I want to go over a few ways we are able to maximize the show budget with some direct cost savings associated with the ExhibitorLive show.