How Much Success Costs a Startup Over a 3-day Trade Show + Tips

What is it going to cost your small business to run a booth over a trade show weekend? Here is a firsthand account of all the costs we incurred to find success at the Better Homes & Gardens Live exhibition event in Sydney mid-September.

Don’t be discouraged. It was all worth it…read the recap of our success at the exhibition. At the end of this article, we’ve included a few sneaky costs to look out for that can add up!

$4,037 Cost to appear as a company + 3m x 3m booth space (3 walls) inc. 2 lighting units
$403 Exhibition table displaying our logo (from Exhibit Systems)
$242 TV stand (from Exhibit Systems)
$2,244 Wall-wrapping with our designs, logos, slogans/calls to action (from WrapStyle Sydney)
$726 Promotional pens (from Wildstar Clothing Company)
$627 Promotional flyers and brochures (from Cosmo Print)
$1,861 Promotional bottle openers, 3 types: credit card, traditional & fridge magnet openers (from Speedex Group)
$587 License allowing us to hold an iPad giveaway competition (from Liquor & Gaming NSW)
$368 iPad Mini 2 (visitors entered to win an iPad by registering on our site)
$160 Interactive branded projection software (from Po-Motion/ Lumo Play)
already owned Projector
already owned TV
$613 T-shirts(from Wildstar Clothing Company)

TOTAL: ~$11,800

(prices are in AUD and can include delivery costs. The total cost does not include the additional costs outlined below).

Costs that are easily overlooked or under-budgeted for:

  • STAFF! All of your friends and staff will be excited for the exhibition…until they have to give up their weekend to help-out. Make sure to budget wages for your staff members, maybe even throw-in coffee for them. See how the first day goes, and re-adjust your staff count if it looks like your booth’s visitor volume is going to require more helpers, or less than you already have. Over staffing can crowd the space and can turn away potential interested visitors.
  • Graphic Design. Most visitors to our booth were happy to walk away with our branded materials, and these materials will hang around their homes/offices for long enough to create some valuable brand awareness. Making sure you have the logos and graphics to represent your company is key, so spending time with a graphic designer is a must.
  • Parking. You might laugh, but this can really add up! If possible, take public transportation– day parking rates were ~$25 at the Sydney Showgrounds…per car.

Reach-out to us in the comments with any questions!

1 Response

  1. Jennifer Kurtz
    9 November 2016 at 5:37 am

    great tips

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