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Budgeting Basics for Exhibitions and Events

Budgets are a key factor in everyone’s mind at the moment throughout every strand of business and industry. When planning an exhibition or another kind of event, it is important to make detailed plans so that budgets can be assigned properly and invested in high-quality materials to make the event a success.

Tim Fuller, Managing Director of high-quality exhibition display provider Discount Displays, says, “It is important to know where to apportion money to get the best out of any exhibition or event. Understanding how much it costs to carry off a really great exhibition is obviously going to be unique to each organisation, but there are a number of key areas that must be considered when adding up the totals.”

The first area that will need to be budgeted for is the exhibition space itself. Whether using a shell scheme or a completely blank canvas, it is important to check out these costs beforehand and contact the exhibition director to see if there are any extra chargers for bringing certain equipment or using electricity. Once this has been established, focus can turn to the equipment which will be used at the exhibition.

The design and production of a high-quality banner or pop-up exhibition stand is crucial in the exhibition process; a poorly designed, poorly constructed stand will have a minimal effect on visitors and the target audience, whereas a stand which has seen slightly more investment will appear more professional and high-end. It is important to allocate sufficient funds within this part of the budget; don’t be afraid to spend to get the best results here. If there is no design department within the business, outsource the design of the stand to an external supplier. Invest in high-tech equipment such as banner stands with integrated media, or illuminate the area properly with specialist lighting equipment for added ‘wow’ factor.

Lastly, consider the extra costs that will go into the exhibition. Furniture such as tables, chairs or counters can be hired or purchased by companies, and many make this decision based on how often they will use the equipment. Regular exhibition attendees might choose to buy them, whereas those who attend such events biannually might wish to hire. Factor in the cost of staff transport to get to an exhibition venue, and make sure to include any bonuses or incentives for the member of the sales team with the best results after the event. Freebies, sample and gifts should all be added to the budget list to create a comprehensive and thorough budget plan which can then be used as a guideline for all future events.