It’s a fact that exhibitions are expensive!

However there are many ways in which you can reduce the cost and increase your return on investment. Value for money has become the mantra for both small and large organisations. Over the years we have picked up quite a few money saving ideas and thought we would share them with you.
1. Prepare well in advance
Booking space early and planning your stand in advance pays dividends. Not only on your stress levels, but there are deals to be had from exhibition organisers for early bookings. And if a contractor offering free exhibition stand design is used, then maybe as they have months rather than weeks to do the job, they may give a bit of discount too!
2. If possible build your stand yourself
It’s a lot easier than you think! Building your own exhibition stand was once a scary prospect, but today we have various solutions so that you can self build and exhibition stand that looks truly professional. No tools or experience required. The first time may take a little while but with a little training which we provide the second and consequence times will take literally minutes for a small stand and max a couple of hours if a large stand. If 2 or more people, considerably less. And dismantling is half the time.  Who wants to be hanging around after a trade show? Just look at the advantages:
•    If you attend many shows in a year a considerable saving will be made doing it yourself.
•    We will provide FREE training if you attend our premises. This takes away the fear and you then know exactly what you’re doing. In all honesty even this is overkill it’s so easy we have a video showing you how to do it.
•    As your portable exhibition stand is always on standby you can attend an exhibition at the drop of a hat.
3. Why not re-use your event stand.
It’s a great idea but just be careful that your stand does not become repetitive and hence boring. This is always a problem if the space varies and you either try to shoe horn too big a stand in or use a display stand that has been designed for a bigger space. A problem easily solved if you buy a reconfigurable modular exhibition stand system. You get a different bespoke look with all the advantages of being modular. And even if you want graphics for a special event it is comparatively inexpensive to change the panels.
4. Do you really need or just want? Evaluate is the key!

There are many bells and whistles to augment an exhibition stand that come at a cost but don’t add much value.
•    Use carpet, not a raised floor – a raised floor does provide you with a slightly elevated stand, but at around approximately £100 per square meter they’re very costly. Use a good carpet and double sided tape, easy to lay and at about £5 per square meter the saving is huge!
•    Coffee machine needs a 2.5kilowatt or 3kilowatt supply and have you seen the price exhibition organisers charge for a socket? There are many coffee stalls scattered around the exhibition halls anyway. Just ask yourself is having one a necessity or a luxury.
•    The same goes for most electrical appliances – they are often little used and very expensive to accommodate.
•    Careful planning of lighting will save not only the environment but your wallet as well. Use low-voltage or led, then you can plug as many lights as you like (up to the max wattage of course) into a 500 watt socket and cut your costs.  Energy efficient lights such as LED keeps costs down, also if used creatively will enhance the visual appeal of your stand.
The secret is to effectively save money when exhibiting without cutting corners. That’s where experience comes in. We are always happy to give impartial free advice – just give us a call to discuss.
5. Not just any give away!
Some professional exhibition goers are there just to pick up freebies! Others will pick up a freebie and then just bin it. The secret is to give away something practicable to use or why not offer a discount voucher
If you’re worrying about the ‘squirrels’ who will only visit your stand for your nuts, chocolate, free pens, or other novelty gifts, why not offer something with more value to them? Why not try a discount voucher say 10 to 50% off their first order depending on what you are selling of course! This will act as more of an incentive to potential clients and a thank you for visiting us to existing clients. Another idea is to run a competition, or utilise your social media by asking customers to ‘Like’ you on Facebook or follow on twitter, and give away a prize to 1 in 50 people who follow.

Tom Bristow
Tom Bristow is the Managing Director of The Plus Group and has worked in the exhibition industry for over a decade. He is passionate about the service his company provides and he eats, breathes and sleeps everything exhibitions.

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