Budget Exhibition Stands – A Complete Guide on Exhibition Budget


Have you ever visited an exhibition?

If you have, the one thing that must have struck your mind is the cost that must have gone in designing the enthralling exhibition booths in that exhibition. Every brand wants to look the best at the exhibition but most of the exhibitors hesitate due to budget restraint. Yes, you might feel that exhibition marketing is an expensive endeavour as it involves things right from crafting of exhibition stand ideas to handling the logistics of the event.

Exhibition expenses are something to be thought of as an investment rather than as cost. But investing a lot of money in stands that in return doesn’t yield a good return is not at all worthwhile. Even small exhibition stands which involve careful planning are bound to reap more benefit than large exhibition stands who lack proper planning. Several exhibitors often make wrong budgeting, merely because they do not plot out for all the variables in an exhibition.

To get the best ROI for your budget exhibition stands, it is essential to understand the factors that might affect your budgeting list.

Factors that Affect your Budgeting List

Budgeting is not just about filling the track sheet with numbers; it is also about good financial planning. Before you divide your exhibition budget, let’s just look at the elements that help in building it up. This will make your exhibition budget planning process less of a headache.

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Company Budget

The very first thing, to begin with, is to know the basics of your company budget. It is the most crucial factor for every company participating in an exhibition. Depending upon the start and end of your fiscal year, your company allocates a certain amount for marketing purposes. Through it, you will be able to map the budget chain roughly and can further decide upon the remaining factors.

Exhibition Objective

Planning the financial basis of an exhibition show starts with outlining your company’s goals and marketing objectives. Having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve through exhibiting can help you effectively with your exhibition costs. Knowing the amount of audience you want to attract at the show will make a difference in your budget.

Exhibition Stand Builders

Once you know your company budget and have a clear objective, then you could look out for exhibition stand builders that will help you achieve those objectives through budget exhibition stands. Investing wisely in an exhibition stand design company for your event is essential to create the right impression on your target audience.

Once you have acquainted with your budgeting process, you can begin to estimate the cost of the exhibition stand. Having an exhibition stand on hire in Europe serves as a better option as it involves smaller investment and enough flexibility.

Estimating your Exhibit Budget (Budget Break-down)

Mapping out your exhibition budget can be a daunting task. With proper planning, you will be able to chalk out a detail bifurcation of the budget among the essential elements required while exhibiting at an exhibition. Here’s some of what we recommend:

Exhibition Space
Finding the right spot for your budget exhibition stand on the exhibition floor is important not only in terms of visibility but cost too. Depending upon the size and location of your stand within the event, the cost may vary.  Choose a space that helps in fulfilling your exhibition objective. If you have a budget constraint, then you could have shell scheme booth spaces which are cheaper. . You can check the exhibition manual or handbook that is distributed by the show organizers for these variable exhibition stand prices. Allocate 30% of your overall budget in getting the right space for your booth.

Exhibition Booth
Your exhibition stand is the centrepiece of your exhibition marketing campaign. Based on your exhibition budget limits and the objective you have for the show, your stand design should be prudently planned to make the most of your exhibition space and maximize its impact on attendees. You could look for renting the booth rather than purchasing a new one which would save your additional cost of repairs, refurbishment, and storage after the show. Make a list of all the features that you would need in your exhibit such as accessories, lights and furniture etc. Collaborating with an exhibition stand builder will ensure your key message is clear and visible to your attendees. It has been said that the cost of your exhibit including the storage and I&D (install & dismantle) Service charges is usually 30% of your overall budget.
Booth Staff
Your booth needs a voice to speak for itself, and that voice is your booth staffs who are your most effective marketing asset. Therefore, you’ll need to budget for staff expenses. Apart from paying your staff for their time, you need to consider the following:

Staff training


Hotel accommodation



Investing in the right people is essential as the people at your booth will represent your company and brand at the event. Hence, it takes up about 20% of your exhibition budget.

Shipping & Drayage Cost
Transportation of your exhibition stand can be an intricate affair. Your shipping cost varies depending upon the location of your event; whether it is in the same country/city or an international show. It is essential to know the deadline dates for transporting to and from the event.  The shipping expense is considered based on your weight and the size of your booth. Also, maintaining the drayage cost which involves the process of unloading and handling of your stand to and from the event is necessary as it is sometimes bound to exceed. It covers 10% of your overall exhibition budget.

Promotional Expense
Another vital part of the overall exhibition plan is the marketing of your event. Make sure your promotional marketing includes the following:

Social Media Marketing

Direct mail campaigns


Incorporating Technology (for Demo Sessions)


Contest & Quizzes

Promotional activity is something that needs to be carried out before, during and even after the event. So, make sure you allocate at least 5% of it in your budget plan.

Miscellaneous Costs
Miscellaneous costs are the ones which are not planned in your budget list, but they sometimes sneak into the budget which might affect your entire financial plan. To avoid such a situation, it is always advisable to separate  a certain amount of your exhibition budget. This kind of vague category of other expenses might include lead gathering, unexpected maintenance, and cleaning or Wi-Fi/Internet spare costs etc.

There are exhibition stand builders who offer a complete package of exhibition services which include the design and construction, logistics, install and dismantle inclusive of prices. Choosing such exhibition companies would help you save a lot on your budget.
Ways of Calculating your Overall Budget As per the Myriad Industry Surveys, the entire exhibition cost is thrice of your exhibit space cost.  Suppose the price of your 400sq.ft rental booth is $10,000

Approximate Budget = Cost of your Booth x 3  

This would be $30,000.

Another way to calculate your budget is by using the per square foot calculation.

 Cost per Square Foot = Overall Company Expense in last year’s show / Total Exhibit Area

For Example, you spent 30,000 and the exhibit area was 400sq.ft then your cost per square foot would be $75.

Find the Average by adding cost per square foot of every last year events and dividing it by the total number of shows.

Total Budget = Average x exhibit area you are renting this year.

One more way is the Average Cost per lead Calculation

Estimated Budget = Average amount spend per lead x No. of leads you Expect this year

Suppose you spend around $50 per lead and you anticipate 1000 attendees this year than your budget would be $50,000
Measuring your Success
You now know your estimated budget; work on achieving the goals and that will help you measure the success of the show.  You can measure your ROI (return on investment) through lead tracking and calculating the income potential from each lead. Apt budget planning for your exhibiting costs will provide a clear expectation of expenses and gauge an estimated return on your investment to have a successful show.

Hope this exhibition stand budget guide will help you plan out your overall exhibition budget so that you can be off to a great start.



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