- How to differentiate between normal marketing expenses and exhibit marketing expenses
- The exhibit is the largest initial expense, but your ongoing exhibit marketing will easily surpass that initial cost
- Create a budget and maintain an accurate Return on Investment (ROI) on your exhibit marketing
- Include the Exhibit Costs, Onsite Expenses, and Show Services when developing your budget
An Accurate Exhibit Budget
Companies should define a workable exhibit marketing budget, one that includes all related costs. However, the line between marketing expenses and exhibit marketing expenses can be somewhat fuzzy. You will want to create a well-defined budget that separates them.
The exhibit is typically the largest initial expense. However, over time, the cost of using the exhibit will easily surpass the initial cost of the exhibit, often significantly. When constructing a budget, evaluate your ability to maintain the expense year after year. Weigh the repercussions of scaling back. In some industries, scaling back can be more damaging than never exhibiting in the first place.
Creating an Exhibit Budget
Creating a budget allows you to figure an accurate ROI. You should account for pre- and post-show marketing, travel costs, lodging, and entertainment. You’ll need to factor in freight, drayage, show labor, carpeting, and electricity expenses. These can be significant expenses. Most I&D companies will estimate the labor time from a faxed set-up drawing. Most freight companies can estimate the shipping charges based on dimensions and weight provided by the exhibit seller. You should also factor in minor repairs due to freight damage or repeated set-up. Generally, common sense will determine if the exhibit packing is sufficiently for repetitive use, the vibration of the road, and the pounding of the forklift during freight handling.
Don’t forget to factor in the usable life of your exhibit and assign a cost to each show. On average, an exhibit is effective for three years. Any longer and the exhibit may be dated or worn. Any earlier and the marketing value is not realized. (more…)