Just as we were coming out of the pandemic and into the bright new light of fresh business opportunities, the world is faced with more uncertainty and rising prices on just about everything. And once again, the business world finds itself in flux.
For folks in the trade show business, rising fuel prices and higher supply prices demand that we adjust and make new goals, new priorities, and new plans. Everyone say it with me: “PIVOT!”
The trick is to pivot TOWARD success and not AWAY from it by trying to make things work. So . . .
1. If you're thinking about cutting trade shows altogether this season, think again! Although it SEEMS easier and more financially savvy to skip this season and go virtual, cutting your biggest expense, resist that urge. Why?
- Trade shows are where you build relationships with prospects and clients.
- Trade shows are where you gain the most leads!
- Skipping a trade show takes your company out of the competition.
- Trade shows are the BIGGEST EVENT of most businesses. Why would we skip that?
- Some trade shows aren’t in-person this year and that means for in-person events, the pool is deeper and denser...meaning you could potentially do more business than ever at an event!
2. If you’re thinking about cutting some of your trade show staff, think again! Why?
- Overwhelmingly, the #1 thing attendees remember long after an event is how they were treated in your booth (by your staff).
- Relationships are the core of our business, and you don’t cut corners on your core.
- A motivated, experienced, upbeat team can MAKE the event worth it.
- Being short-staffed might leave you with unattended guests and, worse, missed opportunities to build relationships.
3. If you’re thinking about downsizing to a smaller booth, think again! Why? Because there are ways to save money by downsizing in floor space without sacrificing your booth size. We can help you!
- A modular trade show display is the perfect option, offering flexibility if you need to upsize or downsize at any point. Instead of investing in a bunch of exhibits, a modular display has all the necessary exhibit components you need for any size exhibition.
- One great way to have a grand look at a great price point is with a hanging structure. Hanging structures stand tall in an exhibit hall – like a giraffe among elephants – and provide you with an eye-catching presence. Your customers will be drawn to your booth and will always know where to find you.
4. If you're thinking at all about trying to save money this trade show season – and who isn’t?! – pay attention to these tips to up your ROI this year:
- Book as many elements of your trip as early as possible:
- Trade shows offer significant discounts for booking early and you’ll have more high-quality booth space options.
- Booking your trade show means you can book your accommodations. Call priority hotels and ask for a lower rate. Check with the trade show organizer to see if they are partnered with any nearby hotels. Shop around for places with free breakfast, places near the venue, and places with transportation options.
- Knowing where you’ll be enables you to book your flight early. Look for a hotel within walking distance or with a free shuttle.
- Knowing your destination also allows you to check on the public transportation and the local average rideshare costs. If you must rent a car, check out the non-traditional options like Turo.
- Once you know the city and area you’ll be in, you can check out local restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, and food delivery options in the area.
Shopping around ahead of time pays off big once your trip rolls around.
- Store your booth locally.
- This might seem counterintuitive; however, you are going to have to store your booth somewhere, and storing it near the venue will save you the massive expense of shipping it across the country.
- If you’re worried that storing your exhibit might incur damage you have no control over, hire an exhibit specialist with an asset management program to manage, install, and dismantle your exhibit. These companies guarantee expert care of all the parts of your exhibit, and you will have peace of mind with this affordable option. Skyline Exhibitor Source has a sparkling reputation when it comes to asset management!
As we all try to take advantage of getting back to normal (or the “new normal,” at least), don’t throw the champagne out with the cork. Instead, think creatively – or let Skyline Exhibitor Source do that for you! – about how to really show up well to in-person events. You don’t have to bust the budget or scale back to almost nothing in order to exhibit with pride and confidence this trade show season.
This article was inspired by "How To Stretch Your Trade Show Budget Without Cutting Key Expenses" by Briquelle Neyens that first appeared at Skyline.com