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Costs for a trade fair appearance: 8 points to consider

Kosten Messestand

More than 30,000 trade fairs are held every year, attracting millions of people to new products and services. Companies use these special events to best inform, inspire and ultimately convert guests into customers. A successful trade fair appearance is always accompanied by necessary costs. In this article, the SYMA team explains to you which costs you will have to bear when exhibiting at a trade fair and how to keep them as manageable as possible.

How the costs for a trade fair appearance are divided up

According to a study by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA), the global expenditure of all trade fair exhibitors, between 2014-2017, amounted to approximately 9.6 billion euros per year.

The average costs for a trade fair appearance can be divided into the following categories:

  • Exhibition stand construction and supplementary services: 30.3%
  • Exhibition stand rental incl. Service charges: 21.2%
  • Personnel costs: 15.4%
  • Overnight stay & catering: 13.5 %.
  • Travel expenses (incl. local transport):9.9 %.
  • Other expenditure (e.g. advertising & hospitality): 6,5 %.
  • Shopping, leisure, entertainment: 3 %

Source: On the AUMA website you will also find further useful studies and advice on the subject of the trade fair industry.

Buy or rent an exhibition stand?

As an exhibitor, you should first ask yourself the question: Do you want to buy the trade fair stand or would you rather rent it? Basically, SYMA offers three options for this:

  1. Purchase of an exhibition stand from SYMA (including concept and materials), assembly and dismantling, as well as storage are organised independently.
  2. Rental of an exhibition stand from SYMA (consultation, design and implementation included.)
  3. Combination of elements that are rented and those that are purchased due to their uniqueness and frequent use.

We would be happy to provide you with more detailed information about these options in an individual consultation. In our next blog article, you can read in more detail about the pros and cons of buying an exhibition stand or renting an exhibition stand.

Costs for trade fair construction and stand

The trade fair stand itself, with its components, conception, design, logistics, assembly and dismantling, forms the core of the trade fair costs. Three points are particularly important: the basic design concept and the associated idea, the technology used, and the furnishing and equipment of the stand.

Trade fair budget for furniture

The exhibition furniture used is a basic component of the exhibition stand. SYMA’s product range includes a wide variety of finished products that can be purchased or rented. Counters, folding tables, bar tables, partition walls, display cases, information and notice boxes and more can be individually designed or purchased as ready-to-use solutions. Depending on the intended use and frequency, the right product should be selected here.

Trade fair budget for design

There are virtually no limits to the imagination when it comes to the design. From the type of exhibition floor to the right greenery to unique solutions through graphics & illuminated walls, your calculation can include a wide range of options and costs. Depending on the size of your company and your ideas, even smaller stands can amaze your visitors and can be realised at a reasonable price.

Trade fair budget for technology

Technical elements on the exhibition stand are a cost factor that should not be underestimated. Nowadays, you can’t do without technical support, from coffee machines to ultra-modern hybrid solutions or unusual individual designs, and of course not forgetting well thought-out lighting. With sophisticated concepts, such as the SYMA Blackbox or the meet-hybrid Cube, other elements can be saved or outsourced, but the total cost of all technical aids should not be underestimated. If you want to be on the cutting edge, you should find out in detail what the demands of your target groups are and which elements offer the best cost-benefit ratio.

Costs for the exhibition stand space

A trade fair organiser usually charges his rent per square metre of stand space. On average, this is about 180-300 euros per m2. For a larger stand of 50 m2, for example, you would pay around 10-15 thousand euros. Euro stand rent, excl. Connections, suspensions and running costs. However, this is only a guideline for B2B trade fairs. At B2C trade fairs, the prices for stand space can also rise even further, depending on the popularity of the trade fair. In addition, the price also depends on the position on the exhibition grounds. You will pay more for an easily accessible location than, for example, head, block or row stands.

Costs for stand personnel

The stand personnel employed is a fixed cost item for a trade fair appearance. The main cost factor is the company’s own stand personnel, who explain the company’s products and services and initiate follow-ups for leads. In addition, there are often: bartenders, security, hostesses and other professional staff.

Costs for trade fair marketing

Another major cost centre, apart from the actual exhibition stand, is advertising material. A presence trade fair means: Face2Face customer contact, little wastage and impressions that stay. Marketing costs naturally also include the costs of all measures before and after the trade fair appearance. This includes, for example, advertising budgets for social media, newsletters, PR mailings and invitation distributions, advertising material directly at the trade fair stand (giveaways and information material), content production (film/photo), competitions and all means for subsequent lead tracking.

Costs for travel, accommodation and meals

Also calculate the expenses for travel to and from the event, tickets for public transport, expenses for meals as well as overnight stays in the hotel for all assigned employees. Especially when visiting large and established trade fairs, hotel costs around the trade fair location, for the time of the event, can increase significantly. Those who book earlier or choose trade fairs in the area are clearly at an advantage.

The cost of a custom trade show booth can vary greatly depending on what your vision is and what elements you plan to include.
Our offer: We offer you 100% cost transparency of our direct services and ask you the right questions already at the briefing meeting, so that you can budget and plan your trade fair appearance holistically. If you would also like to benefit from SYMA’s many years of experience, please write to us using the contact form. Our trade fair construction experts will contact you as soon as possible and work with you to create a cost plan in which you only pay for the services you really need to be successful.