Tips to Cut Your Trade Show Booth Spending in 2012

A trade show is a great way for a company to increase exposure and increase brand presence…but there’s typically a huge investment required.  In 2012, companies arecontinuing to exhibit at major shows….. but are on limited budgets.  There are many ways for a company to reduce the exorbitant costs and still make an impact at the show.

As a marketing consultant, my job is to listen to clients’ needs and make recommendations to help them achieve their goals within the marketing budget.   Trade shows continue to be an important part of the marketing mix and should not be ignored.  Companies should continue to exhibit at major industry specific shows…but follow the tips below to reduce the overall cost of exhibiting.

Tips to Cut Your Trade Show Booth Spending :

  1. Booth Sharing – This concept has become popular in 2011 and continues in 2012.  A company can share booth space with a non-competitive company and split the booth costs. This can cut costs by 50%.  Each company can work their side of the booth and be responsible for graphics and product demos.  If you are the type of company that does not want to share your exhibit space…read on for further cost saving tips!
  2. Reduce the Size of Your BoothSpace– A great way to reduce your costs is to reduce the size of your booth.  Is it really necessary to have a 10 x 20 booth or larger just to impress your competitors? You can still have a successful show and be in a 10 x 10 booth.  In addition, to saving thousands on the booth cost, this option eliminates the need for additional booth staff…..which in return cuts your travel expenses.
  3. Consider Second Hand Displays– If you can’t afford a brand new top of the line booth, another option would be to purchase a refurbished second hand display.  Of course, you would need to pay for the graphics…but you would save on the booth printing costs.
  4. Use Lightweight Trade Show Exhibits  – You can reduce shipping costs by using lightweight materials to ship. Pop up displays are an excellent option because they are extremely lightweight and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If there are items that don’t need to be shipped and can be carried by you to the event, then that will also be cost efficient for you.
  5. Keep Your Booth Paperless – Do not print and bring company brochures.  Instead bring a laptop and show a presentation at your booth.  Only send brochures to qualified leads as a follow-up after the show.

The good news is that trade show booth traffic continues to increase in the new year.  Companies are seeing a return on investment and understand the value of not missing out on the major industry events.  Exhibiting at trade shows is a HOT item in 2012.  Hopefully, these tips will allow companies to continue exhibiting at the major events and not be left out in the cold!


Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit: or call 631-846-1558




  1. Thanks for sharing – these are great saving tips.

  2. Great tips. Used to have to deal with those things.

  3. Thanks for the great tips. I already use some of them.

  4. Great tips, nicely done!

  5. Thanks for the tips!

  6. I am so glad you mentioned paperless…I wish more booths paid attention to this 🙂
    Any suggestions to stand out in a huge place, like Vegas while using 2nd hand displays to cut costs?
    Sharon from EA

  7. People could save a fortune with some of these tips, well written.

  8. Great points! Complimentary services for sharing a booth would also be a fantastic idea.

  9. Reblogged this on Ransae's Blog.

  10. monique merhige says:

    I’m so glad that people enjoyed my trade show article and found it helpful. Hopefully, we will continue to see an increase in trade show booth traffic this year. Another great suggestion to stand out in a show in Vegas would be to have a presentation or media event at your booth. Most companies try to use raffles..but you need something different that will stand out. Games are good too! I have seen mini-golf, basketball, and even happy hour bars set up at booths. The happy hour was my favorite!


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