It is amazing how your costs can add up when you exhibit at a trade show.
Here are some things I do to keep my expenses low and my money in my pocket.

1.Carry your booth with you.
It is possible to design a booth that you can pack in your suitcase or carry on.  There is no need to have art in heavy frames.

2.Ship things to your hotel. Most hotels will accept packages about a week before you arrive – you need to tip the person who brings them to your room, of course.  But, a $5 tip is a lot less than you will pay for storage and drayage at the show site.  So if you just don’t want to carry a box of brochures or drapes for your walls with you, ship ahead. And plan far enough ahead to ship it by ground and avoid overnight charges.

3.Pay for a “trade show” suitcase when you fly. If what you need to get to a show is heavy, but under 50 lbs, you might consider paying the $25-50 for an extra checked bag and bring it on the plane with you.  That is often cheaper than shipping ahead to your hotel.  Weigh your options.

4.Buy water and snacks at a local drug store. When I do a show in New York, my first stop is Duane Reade, a drug store that seems to be on every corner.  I stock up on bottles of water to take to the show, as well as a gallon or 2 for the room.  Ditto for some snacks.  Water can run $3+ at a show so I suggest you plan ahead!  Of course, check the show rules before trying to bring water in by the case, you might only be allowed one or two that you can put in a bag.

5.Book your hotel, usually through the show site, as early as possible. Most trade shows negotiate better rates than you will find on your own, and often at very nice hotels.  But make your reservation early as there are limited numbers of rooms at the show rate.  I usually book for the following year while I’m working the show.  Another upside to booking through the show travel planners – you can usually change your hotel, dates, etc. without fees that you would incur on most online travel sites.

Have a great show and keep some of your hard-earned cash in your pocket!widget-tradeshow

~ Tara

PS: This information can be found in the eBook: How to Maximize your Time and Investment in Trade Shows Click here for more details