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Event budgeting: How to stay in the black

Whether you’re a marketer who has just been handed the job of organising your first exhibition stand, or even an old hand at the task, one simple word can still be met with fresh adversity. The dreaded B word: Budgeting!

Exhibition marketing is one of the costlier forms of marketing, and naturally you anticipate questions such as “How much does an exhibition stand cost?” or “What costs do I need to consider?” and so forth. However, with good planning and research, it needn’t be such a monetary minefield.

Budgeting, what’s in it for me?

Understanding what you have to spend, and how much is allocated to specific areas, can help prevent the costs from mounting up. Trust in your plan, be strict with it, and save yourself a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way.

Tugging at the purse strings – where to begin

Knowing why you are exhibiting, and what you want to get out of it, is the key to allocating your budget. Setting objectives will help determine exactly what you want to get out of a show and what element of your presence needs the most funding. If you need some help with this part; check out this blog on nailing your event objectives.

Today’s weather: Muggy, with a chance of over-spend

With objectives and goals established, it’s time to get your hands dirty and dip into your war chest.

If you’ve exhibited before you’ve got an easier ride. Use previous stand costs to benchmark yourself. Even if you’re building on your previous design, or extending your total space, you can use last year’s spend as a guide to build your foundations on.

Forecasting is harder if you haven’t exhibited before, and it may seem like quite a challenge. But don’t get disheartened. A rough, but useful, way to think about benchmarking is this: whatever you spent on renting your area, spend again.

Oh no! Where’s my money gone?

Unfortunately, there are times where no amount of planning and preparation can prevent the money pot running dry. Always keep a contingency allowance. If you keep back 5-10% as contingency you can always spend it nearer the time to get yourself some great give-aways.