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Build a Better Trade Show Budget for 2015

by Gwen Parsons 2. December 2014 20:39

For many companies that operate on a fiscal calendar year basis, December is budgeting month. So you should begin developing your 2015 marketing plan now, if you haven’t already started.

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), the chart below illustrates the allocation of annual spending.



1. Use your actual trade show expenses for 2014 to help you estimate your budget for 2015. Examine your trade show expenses and note where you had cost efficiencies and/or overruns.

2. It’s interesting that the lion share of expenses are allocated to space and logistics while less than 1/3 is devoted to optimizing sales opportunities at trade shows.

Exhibit design            11%
Promotion                  6%
Lead management      4%
Subtotal                     21%


Look for ways to reduce operational expenses so you can reallocate the savings to your presentation and promotion to drive visitors to it.

3. If you’re planning to purchase or rent an exhibit, work closely with your exhibit house on cost projections for acquisition as well as show service estimates.

Invest in a modular trade show display that expands or contracts in size to be used in different venues vs buying multiple properties for use in each space size.



Trade show booths using aluminum systems with printed fabrics are very popular for their durability and lighter weight which reduces freight and material handling costs.



Trade show displays that assemble fast without tools like this wall system reduce labor costs associated with installation and dismantling.

Expand your current trade show exhibit economically by adding rental elements such as Internet kiosks, reception counters, storage towers, furniture, etc.

4. Submit all order forms on or before the show manual deadline - flooring, furniture, computers and Internet service - ordered late or on-site costs 10-20% more in wasted budget dollars.

5. Whenever possible, ship to the advance warehouse. Not only it is less expensive but your properties are delivered to the show floor first, before shipments arriving direct to show site.

What is your biggest trade show budgeting challenge?

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

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Trade Show Tips | Trade Shows

Marketing Executives’ Outlook on Trade Shows and Events

by Gwen Parsons 7. August 2013 20:22

The Chief Marketing Officers Council and the Exhibit and Event Marketers Association recently partnered to benchmark the value of trade shows and events based on a survey of senior level corporate marketing executives. The results have been released in a report entitled “Customer Attainment from Event Engagement” and addressed in a symposium held last week. Here are some of my key takeaways:

Trade shows and events are core to the marketing mix

  • Exhibitions and events are viewed as a major source of new prospects and opportunities for gathering leads and meeting with customers.
  • Survey respondents rated conferences, conventions, trade shows, expos, and customer hospitality events as most important to their business development strategies. Online events, large event sponsorships, and dealer meetings were rated least important.
  • Forty percent of survey respondents are replacing big shows with more vertical market events that offer targeted audiences.
  • Forty-four percent are hosting their own customer events.

Marketing budgets remain steady

  • The CMO Council’s “2013 State of Marketing” study reported that an average of nine percent of the marketing budget is allocated to trade shows and another three percent to corporate events for an impressive total of twelve percent.
  • More than half of survey respondents said their budget allocation will remain the same next year.
  • One of the top challenges identified by marketers was managing escalating costs within their trade show budget.

Marketers anticipate increased demand for justification

  • In order to make a strong business case for trade show participation marketers are seeking front end and back office measurements to demonstrate event effectiveness.
  • Attendee mix and quality is the top criteria used by marketers to select events. Marketers expressed their need for reliable attendee information from show organizers - before and after the event.
  • In addition, the study revealed interest among marketers for show organizers to employ new technologies such as RFID badges, QR codes, and Apps to provide metrics such as booth visits, length of stay, and conference content access.

There’s room for improvement in the back office as well. Marketers continue to wrestle with how trade shows and events contribute to sales revenue. Only about one third of marketers feel their company does a good job converting leads into business opportunities. Although more than 40 percent of marketers say they have CRM systems they are happy with, they don’t have visibility into the sales funnel and conversion pipeline.

is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nomadic Display. She is a regular contributor to the Nomadic Display Blog and can be found at Google + and LinkedIn.

 

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