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vendor table at conference



Tips for the First Time Trade Show Exhibitor page 2

    How much do local exhibitor shows cost vs national shows depend on your industry and trade associations.  For my industry, local and regional shows run $300-$500 and national shows cost $1600-2200. The costs listed for the national shows are for the booth space and nothing else. You will have to rent from the exhibiting company basic supplies like carpet and chairs and they carry other item accessories like tablethrows and signage.

     Find out the attendee demographic to the different trade shows. Make sure they are part of your target market. I had the opportunity to speak with three different people with an association recently.  Two of them were in charge of marketing the conference and the other was an administrator with the association.  The marketers gave me a larger number of projected attendees to the show than the executive provided by 20%.

     My experience has been that as few as 7% of the registered attendees stop by the booth at a national conference and 10% at a regional show. You may want to take the figure provided by the organization putting on the trade show and mulitiply it by 10% to calculate cost per attendee. I wouldn't use the total number of projected attendees since that number will be inflated and it is unrealistic to expect everyone of those people would stop by your booth.

     When trying to determine which show to exhibit at, you might ask some of your customers if they attend the trade show you are considering and what they think about it. Your buyers can give you great insight and guidance to whether that show is the right one for you. A red flag should be raised if your customers are not familiar with a particular show you are considering and then you would also want to know why -- especially if they are part of the demographic that the show supposedly reaches.

     Ask the association related with the considered trade show how many attendees they typically have, what they do to encourage attendees to walk the vendor area, what the exhibit size is; what the vendor fee covers -- does it cover the space only or is the table, chair, table throw and signage.  Signage will be something as simple as a laser printed paper folded with your company name or as nice as your company name printed on a heavy paper weight. Chances are the signage will not be reused since it might have the conference logo next to your company name.  

     A tip on saving time and money with signage: you can pick up a professional looking sign at Kinko's 10" high by 2 feet wide for under $20.00 that you can reuse. This was a price for a nicer paper that can withstand outdoor elements.  It will cost you continued