Money-Saving Tips to Maximize Trade Show Budgets

June 15, 2023
Money-Saving Tips to Maximize Trade Show Budgets

Exhibitors are often faced with the challenge of balancing their desire for a captivating exhibit that achieves their goals, with the constraints of a limited trade show budget. Trade shows can be expensive, but with strategic financial management and careful planning, exhibitors can maximize their budget and still create an exceptional trade show experience.

Why It’s Important to Create a Trade Show Budget Aligned with Company Goals

There are a lot of moving parts in trade show planning, and every part costs money, that’s why it's crucial to create a budget that aligns with your company's goals and objectives. At Nomadic Display, we understand the importance of financial constraints and requirements, and we work with you to allocate your resources accordingly. We also help you stay within your trade show budget by providing a breakdown of the costs involved in creating your trade show exhibit.

The amount of money your company plans to spend should be directly related to accomplishing the goals and objectives you have set. If your primary goal is to generate more qualified leads, then spend more money on exceptional talent or interactive lead-generation technology. If you are focused on brand awareness promotional giveaways, branded swag and printed collateral may be more important. 

To begin with, you need to estimate the costs associated with the show you plan to exhibit in. Be sure to account for all exhibit costs, space rental and show services, including shipping, drayage, installation and dismantling labor, and travel expenses. Once you have set your goals, it's time to create your trade show budget.

Estimating for Trade Show Budgets Without Constraints

If you were not given a budget, but need to estimate how much money you will spend, simply multiply the cost of your exhibit space by three. So, if it costs $4,000 for the exhibit space, the total cost of the trade show will be around $12,000. Keep in mind, these numbers will fluctuate depending on the market and venue of the show. 

Labor Unions: How They Can Impact Your Trade Show Budget

Labor unions can add up to 25 percent to your total bill. However, you can reduce your labor charges by hiring a labor team that is familiar with your booth, providing detailed set-up instructions ahead of time, and dedicating a supervisor to oversee the installation of your booth.  If you have a portable display that can be quickly and easily set up by your own staff, then labor union labor may not be required.  For example, a venue might have a 45-minute rule; if you can set up your own display in under 45 minutes, a labor union may not be required.  Be sure to read the fine print of your show agreement for details for both installation and breakdown.

Aligning Financial Limitations with Exhibition Goals: The Crucial Role of Budgeting

Creating a trade show budget is the single most crucial factor that affects your trade show plans. By understanding your financial limitations and goals and working with Nomadic Display, you can stay within your budget while still creating an exceptional trade show exhibit that meets your company's goals and objectives.

By collaborating with Nomadic Display, you can be assured that your trade show exhibit will be designed and built with superior care and materials, delivered to you with care, and overseen by project managers who will keep you informed of the progress every step of the way. We help you achieve complete customer satisfaction while taking the stress off your shoulders.

The chart below shows a typical breakdown of costs associated with exhibiting at a trade show.


Typical % of Budget

Your Estimated Cost

Exhibit Space



Exhibit Design & Construction



Exhibit Shipping



Show Services



Exhibit Promotion



Show Travel/Lodging



Design and Production of Graphics



Other Exhibit-Related Items




Nomadic Display offers a diverse range of trade show displays and layouts that can be customized to meet your needs.  Request a meeting with one of our trade show specialists now and start your trade show journey.