6 Insider Secrets That Will Help You FIGHT BACK!
By Josh Axelberd, President/CEO Displayit, Inc..
If you've exhibited at trade shows before, you know the truth: everyone has his hand out, trying to grab hold of your marketing dollars. Whether it's $400 to move a pallet 30 feet, or a couple hundred dollars for someone to vacuum your booth space, trade show marketing expenses are out of control!
Despite all of that, you keep coming back year after year. I know why you do it. You do it for the same reason thousands of other trade show exhibitors do: because trade show marketing works. Highly-targeted shows give you the chance to meet your best customers and prospects in an environment that is highly conducive to doing business. You can't help but ask yourself, "How great would my ROI be if I didn't get taken to the cleaners with all of these fees?"
I've been doing this for 15 years and I feel your pain, but I want you to know that it doesn't have to be this way. There are new techniques, products, and insider tips that will help you lower your trade show expenses and dramatically boost the return on your trade show marketing dollars.
These Secrets Can Save You Thousands of Dollars Per Show!
- Cut Your Drayage Costs – Most exhibitors don't know what drayage is until after they get the bill. If you learn how to control drayage costs prior to your show, you'll save thousands of dollars each year. Simply put, drayage is the fee that the show contractor charges to move your shipment(s) from the loading dock to your booth space, both before and after the show. Oftentimes, drayage costs more than the shipment to the show itself! You can reduce drayage costs by purchasing exhibits that weigh less or pack more efficiently. You can also reduce drayage expenses by consolidating shipments. Get connected with your own Displayologist who will work with you to develop an exhibit system that will help you reduce this hidden fee.
- Great Displays Aren't Necessarily the Most Expensive – When I started working in the trade show industry during the mid-90s, the typical 10' x 10' trade show display cost around $6,000. Today, you can buy similar displays for around $1,200. Internet-based display distributors have totally changed the game. That said, most of the big-name, "traditional" trade show distributors have yet to get the memo. Their commission-driven sales model is dependent on offering higher-priced displays. Don't assume that just because a display features a big price tag, it's going to provide additional value. This is also the case for some of our own displays. We have displays that are more expensive because they offer a particular feature that a potential exhibitor might need, but just because they are more expensive doesn't mean they're better. Be sure to purchase the display that best meets your particular event marketing needs.
- Display Rentals Mean Big Savings – It might not be the perfect solution for everyone, but renting your display can make a lot of sense. Depending on the type of display you need and your price range, you may need to use a display four times before a purchase makes more sense than a rental. We've discovered that a number of our clients rarely use the same exact display four times. Many companies, including Displayit, offer turnkey rentals, with the rental inventory located in the top trade show destination cities. Another bonus: this means the bulk of your potential shipping costs are eliminated.
- Don't Miss Your Deadlines – I know, $150 is a crazy amount to pay for someone to vacuum a 100-square-foot booth space only two times. Do you know what's even worse? Paying an extra $50 for that same service because you forgot to turn in your order form by the "early bird" discount date. This principle applies to all your show-related services. I can't stress it enough: read the fine print, and you'll save money!
- Double-Check Audio/Visual Quotes – It can certainly be convenient to rent large monitors and computer equipment, but check those quotes! Oftentimes, it's cheaper to simply purchase equipment in the destination city, then donate it or give it away after the show.
- Get the Best Hotel and Airfare Rates – The show organizer often provides discounted hotel rates for exhibitors and attendees, but it's rare that these discounted rates are the BEST rates you'll find. Start monitoring websites for hotel and airfare deals 4 to 5 months before your event. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to find great deals with just a little extra effort.
I realize that many of these tips may seem obvious, but the fact of the matter is that less than 10% of exhibitors are doing all of the things I've just listed. If you follow our advice, you can cut your exhibiting costs by 25% or more. There's a huge opportunity for you to gain the edge on your competition and turbo-charge your trade show marketing efforts.
Connect you with one of our experienced exhibit consultants, who will help you select the right display and put these tips to work for you. Trade show marketing is incredibly powerful. Don't let high fees prevent you from maximizing its effectiveness.