Key Elements of a Trade Show Budget

To consider all kinds of expenses related to your trade show, start working on your budget at-least six months before the trade show begins (if not 9 or 12 months prior). Most of your trade show budget would go into renting the booth space alone and 32% of your entire budget, on average (according to Exhibitor Magazine’s previous studies).

BudgetingRulesOfThumbThe next element of a trade show budget is exhibit design, graphics, shipping and show services. These items will all include all your exhibit design and layout needs for your booth, such as the graphics, display, shipping, labor, cleaning, power, internet and other maintenance and technological needs of the booth. Around 43% of your budget would go into all of these exhibit related items.

The final portion of a trade show budget are promotional activities, travel and other expenses. You can limit your travel expenses by booking in advance at airlines and hotels. Lastly, I always recommend an additional 5% -8% (or even 10%) as a “buffer” or emergency expense for unforeseen items or an emergency expense.

To help our clients easily plan their budgets, we’ve created a “Budgeting Worksheet” and “Budget Rules of Thumb”. Use the contact form below, to request a copy.


Written by

Michael Flavin sells St. Louis Trade Show Displays, St. Louis Trade Show Booths and Trade Show Displays in St. Louis MO. He has 9 years of trade show industry expertise and 14 years overall in design, sales & marketing.