Project “Trade Show”: Costs and DIY

(continued from previous article)

Here are some figures to consider.

Average costs of participation in bigger German Trade Shows go well beyond 20000-25000EUR (and we mean it – WELL beyond); for small and medium companies this means substantial investment. As a result, it might be tempting to try to save, especially when small companies are involved. Here’s a rough calculation of major expenses to be considered:

  • Booth rental starts from 4000EUR (costs vary, but do not expect anything less at international shows). For these you would normally get the smallest space available (around 9m2) with basic lighting and equipment; additional services would have to be paid extra.
  • Minimum amount of printed and digital material, as well as any other promotional items (including design, if you do it yourself using cheap print companies and their templates) would add at least 1000EUR;
  • Costs of travelling to the show would start from 1000EUR; this is based on average cost of 2 company representatives travelling to Germany from within Europe. In case longer distance has to be covered or more representatives have to travel, or in case equipment needs to be transported as well – costs may skyrocket;
  • There are also accommodation expenses; these can be brought down to another 1000EUR, providing 2 people share a basic room for 5-6 nights in a quite cheap hotel within commutable distance to the venue, bookings made well in advance (commutable distance covers areas 1.5-2hrs away by train). Anything closer or better would at least double or triple the cost of stay, as hotels tend to raise their prices for duration of major Trade Shows in the area.

So, the minimum cost of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Trade Show participation has already reached 7000-8000EUR, providing you are travelling from within Europe with a suitcase of leaflets only. And that is not including additional expenses and salaries of booth staff. We have used the term “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) because a lot of work – such as designing promotion material – would have to be done using resources the company already has. In addition, other employees would have to cover for the ones on the show – amount of daily work would not decrease because a few members of staff are away for a week.

Overall this is the extreme bottom line of participating in a Trade Show – the very basic presence of the company at a trade show, which can’t even be named representation. Chances to get noticed are reduced to the minimum, as well as chances to find new clients or partners. Chances to get on the media are close to non-existent.

And here comes the question: is it worth the money? Can your company afford to give away some 10000-15000EUR without expecting anything in return? Of course, there would be some new leads available (provided those two representatives in the booth were really working hard); there are also cases of successful partnerships formed under similar circumstances, but they are extremely rare.

(go to next article)

When reading all this please have in mind that we are here to help you with all aspects of public relations and overall presentation of your company at German trade shows – take a look at our service list here or contact us to discuss your requirements.

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