HOW TO CALCULATE THE BUDGET FOR A STAND AT A TRADE FAIR
Before getting down to business and since we, Contemporanea Eventi, take great pleasure in things well said and done, we want to be as clear and transparent as possible. Thus, we will begin by saying that being part of a trade fair is not and shouldn’t be cheap. Why? Because by the very definition, we are showcasing ourselves before our public and as such, we should look our best and spare no expense since it is by these means that we get more sales, while convincing and becoming the option our customers will always go back to when in need of our services.
Therefore, we are not a low-cost stand company, and we can’t conceive the use of the words low–cost and stand together. We have the highest regard for our profession and as such, we live it as an form of art in which details, materials, and final finishes make the difference.
Consequently, before budgeting our congress or fair participation, we should know that it is not just a matter of being there, but also convincing and building customer loyalty, and all while outshining the rest. Therefore, we should be ready to invest as needed without bringing in too much disarray and knowing beforehand how results will be capitalized in the aftermath, which is the topic of this article.
FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE BUDGET OF A STAND AT A FAIR
The cost of a participation in a fair as a basis
A good technique to calculate and allocate the budget for the trade fair stand is to do it based on the costs of participation, since the spending limit will be set by what they are.
An example is the participation at the MWC, the fair of all fairs, for which we should be ready with a designer stand that is capable of matching the event and compete against approximately 2,000 other exhibitors. We should spare no expense when promoting our space and welcome visitors with all they may need.
Due to the value of an average reservation ticket for a trade fair being equal to its magnitude, a good way to calculate the total optimal budget is to multiply the cost of the participation times 5. Therefore, space rent will take 20% and here below, we explain how to spend the 80% remaining.
The stand, where the budget is king
Keep in mind that you will have the best of venues at your disposal, so wouldn’t it be logical to also have the best of stages? This is the reason why we should designate a greater portion of our budget for the stand than for space rent.
On average, the best thing is to put aside 30% of the total budget for a good stand. This will cover the design, the assembly and in short, everything that will make our participation stand out at the event.
Approximate cost of participating in the MWC
|Let’s see an example of how much it would approximately be to participate in the MWC.
The average prize for participation in the MWC is around €1,500 per m² and a medium size stand* is 20 m². This tentative data estimates a cost of the participation of around €30,000.
Following the established approach and bearing in mind that this ticket should account for 20% of the budget, our total budget for the fair should be €100,000, assigning the stand at the MWC a minimum of €45,000.
*This is a medium size stand; industry giants such as Eriksson, Huawei or Samsung rent entire halls or build stands as big as 6,000 m².
WHERE TO SPEND THE REST OF THE BUDGET TO EXHIBIT AT A FAIR
We should assign approximately 50% of the total budget for the participation in the fair to rent the space and to the stand itself. This leaves us with 50% for other expenses. How to spend it?
- Fair services: WIFI, electricity and water points, cleaning services, etc. (5%)
- Promotion: online and offline marketing campaigns. (12%)
- Staff and travel: company staff attendance, hiring hostesses, etc. (18%)
- Transportation: material transportation, insurance, etc. (10%)
- Miscellaneous: gifts, dinners, event tickets, etc. (5%)
We do not talk of absolute values when referring to economic matters. The fair, the type of fair and where it is held will influence the amount of funds to be allocated to the different expenses that arise from participating in a fair.
For instance, if the fair is to be held in the same city as our offices, the expending on staff, travel and transportation will be reduced and therefore, these funds can be reallocated to other expenses like those related to promotion or be used to work on the details that will make our stand as spectacular as possible.
For what splitting the budget really works is to assess the economic viability of our participation. In other words, if we have a budget allocated beforehand and the participation takes 50% of the total, it would be interesting for us to check a different fair before we reduce the expending on the design and assembly of the stand.
We insist, there are no absolute values when budgeting a stand only by knowing the interest in a certain fair. So, following the indicative example of exhibiting at the MWC and given a previously budgeted amount of €50,000 for our fair marketing strategy, it would be preferable to choose a different fair, one with less media exposure, but one that will allow greater efficiency and maximization of resources. It is not a matter of reducing the impact but securing the optimization of resources.
HOW TO AMORTIZE THE BUDGET
Before assessing the profitability of whether participating in a fair according to what has been budgeted, we should be very clear on how the investment will be returned.
A fair like the Mobile World Congress pays for itself as far as promotion is concerned, and it does before, during, and after the exhibition at a fair that is the greatest attraction in the world of telecommunications worldwide. However, other fairs may deliver negative results at first, but as contacts begin to come in month after month, the participation ends up being a success and once we do the math, it brings in more benefits than first expected.
In short, a trade fair participation, whether in the shape of reputation, economic benefits or promotion-wise, always yields benefits. The key is in how to take advantage of our presence there. So, surround yourself with experts who can guide you so you can get the best return on your stand.