When you estimate the cost of attending a trade show, you must consider components that include, but are not limited to: event registration, floor space, shipping, furniture, labor, and travel for your employees.
The two biggest factors that influence cost are: the size and scope of your booth (if you have one) and the number of people attending the event. When these values change, your costs will go up or down dramatically, so pay attention to these numbers.
We like to break down cost in the following buckets:
Don’t get too bogged down making these estimates perfect for each field, for each event, as long as your assumptions are reasonable, your estimates will generally be more accurate than you might believe – even if individual fields are over or under.
In our spreadsheet we’ve provided sample values for you with placeholder values based on industry averages. Every company is different, so your mileage will vary, but having a starting point is helpful for figuring out what cost estimates you really need (and which ones you don’t).
Finally, one additional consideration is your company policies and your needs – for example, some companies will place executive travel under a cost bucket called “General and Administrative” . If you are in charge of the marketing or sales budget, you may not have to budget or plan for it.
As painful as this all sounds, estimating the cost of attending a trade show is a key component to understanding whether or not you should attend and what your expected ROI should be. Creating a consistent framework around this allows you to fairly evaluate the cost-benefit of different shows.
Next, learn how to estimate trade show ROI >
This article is part of our ebook “Building a Better Trade Show”. Download our free ebook today.
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