The Cost of Trade Shows - Setting Your Trade show budget

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Costs to consider when budgeting for your exhibition and trade show

Costs of Exhibiting

• Space, Usually charged by the square meter. Most exhibition venues offer space only, which is exactly that, or shell scheme. A shell scheme usually consists of a panel system on the stand perimeters, with a named headboard above the entrance. In theory, a shell scheme should enable you to turn up, hang a few graphics and get on with the show.

• Stand Design. Can be very simple to extremely complex. Some exhibitors find it cheapest to do their own stand whilst many companies will employ a stand designer to gain maximum impact.

• Stand Build. Again, whilst it is possible to create your own stand, many companies will employ a stand builder to build and breakdown the stand. Many companies offer a combined design and build service.

• Lighting and Electrics. Don't forget, once the stand is built, you will need to provide power and light. These facilities are often controlled by the event organisers and can be costly.

• Literature. Its all very well having a lovely brochure and literature, but be aware of the cost of handing them out at a show. You can get through huge numbers, and if they are given to the wrong people, that could prove very costly.

• Transport. The whole stand, together with any literature, furniture and flooring as well as your products will need to be transported to and from the show.

• Entrance tickets. Most exhibitions will allow a fixed number of tickets for the size of the stand, and if you need more for staff or invited guests, you may be asked to pay.

• Staff. In addition to having to pay staff for longer hours, there are usually associated costs involved such as accommodation, food, travel and parking.

• Catering. Whilst some exhibitors request their staff to feed themselves at the venues facilities, others may order in catering from the event organisers.

• Insurance. Make sure you have adequate insurance, not only for your goods on display, but also liability insurance should anyone hurt themselves whilst on your stand.

• Clear up costs. Make sure you take your rubbish and leftovers with you or you may well get charged.

• Damage Cover. If your designated site is damaged in any way, such as marking the flooring or damaging the shell scheme panels, you are likely to receive an invoice for the repair

Discountdisplays have been producing large format print and exhibition graphics for the last 17 years. Use our experience to highlight yours call 0844 800 1020 and speak to one of our exhibition graphic advisors. If you have any interesting information that our visitors may find useful please send an E-mail to



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Exhibitors Resource

Delivery information Please see our delivery guide for further information. Details of Exhibition centres and Conference venues Including London, NEC, Birmingham, Cardiff, Aberdeen, Bath and Bristol, Nottingham, G-mex Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Leeds, Exeter, can be found in our resource centre which also includes guides on:

Exhibition Hints & Tips

  • Large format graphics
  • Portable displays V Custom built stands
  • Why exhibit?
  • Graphic tips
  • Which banner stand
  • What is a Pop-up exhibition stand
  • Why buy Portable displays
  • Exhibiting costs
  • About PVC banners
  • Was the Trade show worth it?
  • Where should I exhibit? 

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