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Unseen Expenses Of Exhibition Marketing And Trade Shows



Even after evaluating everything during your trade show exhibition, some costs are left uncounted, or something surprisingly comes in and tarnishes your budget planning. Sudden repair costs, late booking charges, prime location expenses and many other factors force you to pay more than what you expected. 


But It's not just you, there are many exhibitors that experience the same. But why this usually happens and is there a way to overcome this issue? 


Understanding these unforeseen aspects before heading to your show can help you keep up with your budget and bring favorable outcomes. To help you with budgeting, we have got you detailed info on some of the very common issues that contribute to bringing unseen trade show display costs to break your expense boundaries. Let’s have a look:


Top 5 Unexpected Trade Show Costs


Here, you will get to know what are the hidden costs that are often forgotten but are crucial to include in your budget. Take a look at these costs, and let's figure out how to maximize ROI (rate on investment):


1. Drayage And Material Handling

Transporting goods from a shipping carrier’s vehicle to your trade show booth space and then back again is called drayage. It includes various tasks such as unloading, moving, storing, and reloading shipments. On the other side, material handling is when your exhibit reaches your targeted location, and the next steps include material handling costs  that are important to consider:

  • The shipping material that reached the trade show booth location needs someone like a staff member to unload the booth.

  • After unloading, it must be relocated to the venue

  • At last, setting up the venue as per your requirement.


Drayage costs are often based on the weight of the items being transported, and the type of venue you are choosing and are usually decided by the event organizers. Moreover, if your drayage arrives earlier than the time given, you need to pay storage/warehousing costs also. Exhibitors often find these fees surprising because they are not always clearly communicated upfront.


2. Lead Retrieval

The second most important unexpected cost of exhibition marketing through trade shows is lead retrieval. Lead retrieval systems are tools used by exhibitors to collect and manage the contact information of the visitors who show some interest in their products and services at the trade show. These systems can include electronic scanners, mobile apps, or software platforms. 


Undoubtedly, it is an additional expense, but it's important if you want to achieve your targeted, valuable leads and want to track the interested viewers after the event. The cost of these systems varies depending on the type of system you purchase or rent and the features included.


3. Onsite/Booth Repairs

To maintain a good reputation in the market, the booth displays should always look as good as new. However, it's not always the case that the displays remain in the same condition as when they were first purchased. It's because going to multiple places for the exhibition can cause wear and tear, which needs to be repaired.  Depending on the severity of the issue, onsite repairs may require additional labor and materials, which can increase costs. You must check before and after the show, if your booth is in the same condition or requires some repairs. Some repairs can not be covered in the warranty, so be prepared for those costs.


4. Late Bookings Or Unexpected Delays

Late bookings or delays in trade show planning lead to unexpected costs because they force businesses to pay higher service rates. Likewise, flights and accommodations booked last minute are quite pricier than expected, and expedited shipping for booth materials incurs high fees. Additionally, late rentals for booth space and equipment come with higher charges and limited availability. These delays reduce negotiation power and increase the chance of being costly, so make advance planning to avoid these unforeseen expenses.


5. Trade Show Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers exhibitors against potential accidents, injuries, or damages that may occur during the event. This can be an unexpected cost because organizers usually require it just before the event. This last-minute need means you have to get insurance quickly, which can be more expensive. If you don't plan for this cost, it can disrupt your budget. To avoid this, it's important to add liability insurance costs to your list. It protects your company from financial losses that happen because of booth visitors or staff.


Wrapping Up

When planning for how much trade shows can cost involves more than just the obvious costs. By considering unseen expenses such as drayage, lead retrieval, booth repairs, travel, and liability insurance, you can create a more accurate budget and provide a better experience. Preparing for these costs helps you maximize your return on investment and avoid financial surprises.

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