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Exhibiting 101 – Choosing a stand size for your budget.


Exhibition stand costs – Choosing a stand for your needs

This topic is best discussed in conjunction with budget.

1. Budget

Without knowing what your budget is for the entire show effort (stand space, stand construction, graphic design, flights, hotels…) exhibiting will be a excercise in frustration. At first the cost of exhibiting on an event will appear very high. However, divide the cost by visitors and then after the show by sales generated and then it becomes the most cost-effective means to market yourself. By far and away the cheapest aside from “the dregs of marketing techniques”, direct selling.

In order to get your budget right, you need to understand the relationship between the different show costs which will include, but not be limited to

– Stand Space

– Stand construction

– Services (electrics, parking, tips, catering, plumbing…)

– Travel (hotel, visas, subsistence, flights, car hire, subsistence)

– Socializing

Stand Space is by far the most expensive aspect for a local show. Travel a close second and in most cases the stand construction is third.

Many times i have been called and asked for a quote. One of the first questions i ask is what is the budget? Many times i cannot get an answer so i bracket amounts. Are you in the 10-20 category, 20 – 40 category, 40 – 60 category, 60 – 100 category and so on. I have never not had an answer when asking for a budget in this manner. Everyone knows what they can spend, sometimes it just needs to be put into plain numbers.

2. Stand Size

Assuming you aren’t using portable displays for your stand construction…what stand size you choose is directly dependant on your total show budget. Dont book a 6m x 6m stand with the intention of “going huge” when the stand space cost will take 80% of your budget. You will end up with a huge space with little content and will also be eating bread for the duration. A typical 3mx3m space will cost between 8 and 30k depending on the show. Larger stands multiply in 9m2 area spaces (6×3, 6×6, 9×6 and so on).  Stand space and stand construction costs should be similar. If the stand space costs you 30K, you should be spending between 40k and 40k on the stand for an all-inclusive setup, a 60K space between 60k and 80k, a 90k space between 80k and 120k…)

Anyone that participates in exhibitions should work the costs into an annual budget. It’s also always best to allow for  10% contingency on your expected costs to allow for unforseen costs. Allow for new shows that may not have been around when you did your budget. But do research those new shows in-depth before committing.

Should you need advice on strategising an exhibition effort or campaign get in touch with us. We have over 30 years experience in exhibitions in South africa and Southern Africa.

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