5 Ways to Minimize Travel Expenditures During a Trade Show

7 Mar 2019

Although we find ourselves in a world that connects us easily through an ever-expanding network of airports and daily flights to thousands of destinations, travelling on business to a trade show is still quite the investment. Any exhibitor will tell you it’s wise to think about how much you end up spending and decide whether a business trip is advisable. Are you going to gain more by going and spending for hotels, flights, exhibitor booths and ground transport? If the answer is yes, then how can increase the profit margin by decreasing overall costs.

This is where we come in to give you the cost-saving guide to keeping expenses low. It’s all about travelling smarter.

A Travel Budget Makes Everything Clearer

Allocate the amount of money you think you’ll need to invest in your outing. Although a budget is not set in stone and circumstances to change, where you might encounter unexpected expenses, a rough estimation prevents you from further overspending, because you have a set limit. You should plan for a best case scenario, but also consider emergency funds as a contingency plan. The budget has to cover all aspect of the trip – airfare, ground transport, accommodation, trade show booth and marketing materials. If you already have a tradition of attending certain trade shows, draw the data from previous trips and analyze an average number. Don’t forget to also see how much your expenses have grown over the years and plan for inflation and price hikes on certain services.

Early Bird Discounts Pay Off in the Long Run

Once you have committed your presence as an exhibitor, it’s best to start planning your trip then! You save the most money when you act before anyone else and the market is full of early bird deals on pretty much anything. On average, hotel rooms and flight tickets cost less when you book them over half a year in advance. The shorter the time window between the current date and the date of the event grows, the higher the cost to travel. Whatever service you know you’ll need, ask if there are early bird discounts or promotions. These include rent-a-car, meeting facilities and transfers.

Rent the Exhibition Booth if Necessary

This piece of advice concerns regular exhibitors who have selected a trade show that meets their needs and runs annually. If you have a presence at such an event and have a good relationship with the trade show organizer, you can talk with them to rent an exhibition booth and negotiate a deal regarding the pricing. Having a prior arrangement that is a fixed cost every year makes it that much easier to plan and prepare for the trade show.

Avoid Any Unnecessary Expenses (Especially on Site)

You might have thought you’ve passed all obstacles on your way to save money, but there’s a fine category of expenses that pass under the radar. Daily living expenses – food is the biggest culprit here. Though we also have to mention transportation to and from the exhibition centre. If you’re not renting a car, public transportation might steadily raise overall expenses. Rather than pay for individual rides, research, whether you can’t purchase day, passes for bus lines and the metro. In some cities like Prague, you can purchase 3-day passes – a much better fit for a business traveler.

You might be tempted to buy food and drinks on site at the trade show, but we don’t need to point out how these items will be overpriced. The venue will try to increase its profits and a price hike on goods like mineral water is unavoidable. We advise you to have dinner near your hotel, utilize your hotel breakfast, stock up on water and other food for lunch to avoid needless expenses.

Go Digital Instead of Print in Ad Materials

Print graphics are costly to manufacture just right. Not to mention time-consuming and at risk of coming out with all sorts of errors that might necessitate a second or even third printing. This will only balloon your budget and then there are the associated costs of transportation to the event only to then be discarded once the event is over. Either bring in or rent tablets or screens that perform the exact same function without the cost. Because they are powered by the exhibition centre, you don’t have to worry about the power bill. That’s already included in your stand cost.

Follow these five principles and you will have a successful business trip and make savings at the same time.