Skip to content
Rena PattonApr 19, 2022 7:00:00 AM3 min read

Trade Show Best Practices: Determining Your Booth's Budget

Determining your trade show booth’s budget is the first and most crucial step in the planning process, as the booth will be the biggest expense. Once you’ve established a budget for your booth, you can plan for travel expenses, trade show fees, and other operational needs. How much should you set aside for the booth? In our previous blog, we’ve laid out some brainstorming questions for you to consider, such as:

1.) How many trade shows will you participate in?

2.) What booth sizes are typically available at these shows?

3.) Which booth spaces are you likely to consider?

Once you and your team have a rough idea of where to start, you can create the road map for your trade show booth.


How Much Should You Spend on a Trade Show Booth

The cost of trade show booths varies from one booth to the next, depending on your size preferences, materials, and space restrictions. It’s also worth noting that your budget should allocate hidden fees and unexpected expenses. According to EXHIBITOR, there are three ways to calculate your expected budget:

1.) Space Cost: Multiply the cost of your exhibit space at a trade show by three for a rough estimate (e.g. Space cost of $25,000 x 3 = $75,000 is the rough budget estimate)

2.) Cost Per Square Foot: Add the cost of previous show fees and divide the total by your booth’s square footage (e.g. Total show cost of $250,000 ÷ 1,600 square-foot exhibit space = $156.25 per square foot)

3.) Cost Per Lead: If you know how much your company spends on each lead, multiply the average cost per lead by the number of attendees* you expect to attract (e.g. Cost per lead of $160 x 500 expected leads = $80,000 total show budget)

*If you don’t know your number of leads, you can use an average number from EXHIBITOR surveys.

Once you’ve determined the best way to calculate your estimated booth design budget, consider the other aspects such as carpet and padding, booth set up and breakdown, drayage, transportation, and storage.



Why Budgeting Is Important

There are countless moving parts when it comes to a trade show. Therefore, having a clear budget will help set your team up for success. Since some costs vary from one trade show to the next and unexpected expenses can arise, setting an acceptable budget range for your project is essential. Keep your operational expenses within that range, and you will reap the benefits of a fantastic trade show booth season after season.

Another reason budgeting is essential is that you need to have some guidance as you shop for a booth design. Whether it’s a rental or custom-build design, you want to shop within your budget so you can manage your expectations. Nothing is more frustrating than falling in love with a booth design (or rental) that you can’t afford!


Partner with an Experienced Exhibit House 

Budgeting for a trade show is no easy task if you’re new to this game. That’s why it’s crucial to partner with an experienced exhibit house that can answer all your questions, provide trade show booth best practices to create an eye-catching booth that will stay within your budget range, and show you how you can maximize every dollar you spend on your trade show booth.

If you are planning for a trade show booth and want help setting a budget and sticking to it, Exhibit Options is here to help. Our full-service design and building team will help make your vision a reality. Contact us today to get started!