How to save money on your exhibition stand

1. Prepare early

They say the early bird catches the worm, but in the case of exhibitions, the early bird saves a lot of money. Not quite the same ring to it, but you get the idea. Travel Lodges and Premier Inns often have half price deals on early bookings, and having it sorted gives you peace of mind as well as being more in control of your remaining budget. Getting design visuals from exhibition stand contractors in advance (a few months ideally) is also more beneficial for you as this will give you longer to assess the graphics and layout and amend any changes you’d like to make to ensure you’re 100% happy with your final stand.

2. Give away vouchers rather than freebies

If you’re worrying about the ‘Magpies’ who will only visit your stand for your chocolate, free pens, or other novelty gifts, why not offer something with a bit more value? Discount vouchers for example, such as 50% off their first order with be more of an incentive to potential clients. Alternatively, utilise social media by asking customers to ‘Like’ you on Facebook or follow on twitter, and give away a prize at random to 1 in 50 people who follow. Interactive games on stands with a prize to the highest score also work brilliant for creating a buzz on your stand.

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3. Self-build your exhibition stand

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Above: Fine Confectionery getting their free installation training Jan 2013, and their self-built stand at the Trade Only Show January 2013
Below: Clearview Traffic getting their free installation training Feb 2013 for a series of Roadshow events

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Self-building your own exhibition stand can be a scary concept at first, but once you’ve been given the training you’ll be shocked as why you’ve never thought doing it sooner. A few advantages are:

You can go attend as many events as you want, and know you won’t have to pay out each time for someone to install your stand for you
You get free training so you know exactly what you’re doing
This enables you to make last minute decisions about which events you want to exhibit at
4. Re-use your exhibition stand

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There is always a danger that going to a lot of exhibitions with one stand can make your company and it’s branding seem repetitive and boring, especially if that stand is not specifically tailored for your allotted stand space. However if you constantly spend money on a different exhibition stand for a ‘new look’, the numbers can quickly add up, and you find yourself spending a lot more money than you originally planned. Visuals can also look outdated if companies use key events in the social calendar as an influence for their graphics, such as the Olympics, and don’t get round to replacing their stand in time for the next exhibition.

By buying one system that you can reconfigure for different events, you have the ability to give your stand a different look at each show, while using the same graphics and kit.
If you do want a slightly different look, you can purchase different graphics for a fraction of the cost of a completely different stand

3. Evaluate your wants vs. needs

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You’ll find that there are lots of things on an exhibition stand that come at a cost but don’t add much value.

Raised floors – while they do provide you with a slightly elevated stand, at around approximately £1000 they’re very costly, and the money could be used more productively elsewhere on your stand
Coffee machines – these require expensive 2KW or 3KW sockets, and with so many coffee stalls scattered around the exhibition halls, you need ask yourself if having one is a necessity or a luxury
The same goes for dishwashers and fridges – these are often little used and very expensive
Think carefully about what lighting you’re going to use. By using low-voltage, you could plug as many lights as allowed into a 500 watt socket and cut your costs. Alternatively, energy-efficient lighting such as LED helps keep consumption down, and if used creatively it can actually help boost the visual aesthetics of your stand.
There are many ways to try and effectively save money when exhibiting without cutting corners. If you want more advice about how to prepare for your exhibition or more way in which you can save money on your exhibition stand contact our design team: designteam@quadrant2design.com or call 01202 723 500