The air is ripe with desert heat and in a few days, the temperatures will soar as thousands flock the convention centers in anticipation of the Las Vegas Liberty Fashion Fair. It is August in Las Vegas. Each industry attendee and exhibitor will have had some sort of industry footprint. They will most likely be looking to increase it. This is especially true for exhibitors who are new to the industry. They are taking the event as an occasion to gain awareness, exposure, as well as, an opportunity to network.
But with labor-intensive setups and months of preparation, how much of the investment will pay off?
The Appeal of Trade Events
At most, trade events are spectacles to behold. There are bright lights at the booths, giveaways, promotions, and thousands of participating companies. It immerses you in the enormous fish tank that is the convention center. Here you interact with the giants of the industry. Las Vegas Liberty Fashion Fair is an immersive experience that has become the highlight of almost every company’s year.
Most companies allot thousands of dollars in their annual budgets to fly their representatives to the event. They pay for their travel fares, as well as, the labor and materials to setup the booth onsite. The allocation also extends to the promotional staff. The staff is there to assist companies in ensuring that they maximize the occasion. In order to gain as much traction in exposure as possible. We will talk about the breakdown of this allotment later in this post.
It is easy to imagine that the planning for these events go months and months in advance. Since the competition for booth space is prioritized to accommodate larger companies.
All of these efforts go towards the ultimate objective of increasing sales and creating new partnerships. These efforts include showcasing the company’s latest offerings, meeting with industry and retail partners. In addition, gaining new connections within some of the largest arenas in all over the world.
Yet while most conferences are open to the public, which anyone can attend by registering or paying a certain fee. The appeal of trade fairs really lies in its exclusivity. Unlike consumer fairs, trade events are exclusive to industry attendees and members of the press only. The high media coverage and the confidentiality of new product launches that come with the event are what make consumers salivate with every press release.
It is also because of this exclusivity and high-visibility that being part of these occasions becomes so important and pivotal for even the tiniest companies. In these conferences, there is a recurring instance that there is a single venue allotted for them. And it is why, despite having a meager budget, these smaller companies bother being cramped into a convention hall.
Trade Fairs are Case Studies for Business Plans
These events are also learning opportunities for companies to study the activities of their competition– strategies, business models and new launches in their product lineup. In the same way that they are expanding their horizons to new frontiers, they are also reexamining market principles as though they were starting all over again. What products and services are consumers look forward to in the coming year? Among competitors, how many are doing the same thing? And most importantly, which direction is the market going?
Will they decide to go towards the trends or head to a complete different direction? These observations will be noted heavily in order to define new sales and marketing tactics. In the end they determine the direction in which companies head.
Over time, trade events, like Las Vegas Liberty Fashion Fair, are evolving. The marketing and advertising are more exhaustive than ever, with companies promising to showcase “never-before-seen” spectacles and behind-the-scenes looks into their roster new launches. And it is no question that the exclusivity, exposure and high visibility amplify its appeal to the public.
Booth Setup Requirements to Exhibit at a Trade Show
Despite all the rage for all glamour networking events have to offer, like the Las Vegas Liberty Fashion Fair, there is a huge downside. Which, as you might have already guessed, is the cost. It’s pretty straightforward for the most part.
- Display solutions, audio-visual graphics, flooring, furniture and trade show accessories (banner stands, display counters, hanging signs, kiosks, among many others)
- Shipping and handling of materials, wifi setup, a new IP address, lead retrieval…
We’ve barely even scratched the surface. Companies would also pay for overnight security and surveillance.
It is also estimated that the industry average to acquire a portable trade show display is between $100-$150 per square foot, and anywhere between $40,000 to $60,000 for larger displays. According to ExhibitUSA.com, budget allocation differs occasionally but it usually looks like this:
- Space = 33%
- Trade Show Booths & Graphics (construction/refurbishment) = 18%
- Travel & Expenses = 18%
- Show Services (electricity, cleaning, drayage, I&D) = 12%
- Shipping = 9%
- Promotion = 8%
- Miscellaneous = 2%
All in all, the total event budget can be estimated by multiplying the cost of the booth space by three. And yet the figure that you will end up with is just the total display cost per show, not the overall costs of exhibiting in a trade show. What’s more, there are also hidden costs (also see opportunity costs).
- Planning and Tear Down – It is usually the case that a company will partner with a trade event consultant or organizer which will take care of the before and after.
- Logistics – Another thing to consider is logistics required to put the exhibit booth together. What is especially incremental is the timing and the duration of the event. Sometimes, it could be on a weekend and there are usually long lead times between pick up and drop off of the materials. What could go wrong?
- Storage – Most companies will spend for storage fees to manage and ensure that all the materials are there when the time comes. After the event, these third party entities associated with the planning and setup, also offer off-season warehouse storage.
More Effective Marketing Tools with SeeBiz
Now, we all know that marketing is a concept as old as the sand dunes. And it has come a long way. Yet after all is said and done, there are still challenges that lie ahead in terms of the follow throughs with contacts harvested during the event and that these events themselves are forms of traditional marketing that are built on the business architecture of yesterday.
We’ve broken down the expenses, the budget allocation and the labor required to setup the exhibits. And despite all this, it is clear that the aftermath of follow-ups can be a nightmare.
With SeeBiz, you no longer have to be physically present at a conference arena and spend time setting up. Your time is valuable and it could be spent more productively towards developing better products and fortifying your strategies.
Because the SeeBiz platform is digital, it was designed with convenience in mind. It is accessible from anywhere, and by joining, you automatically save overhead costs in exhibit setups, travel expenses, shipping and display solutions. You will also be cutting costs in marketing and print materials by uploading your product lineup creating digital catalogs which you can price accordingly. That way, your connections are always updated when you make changes in your pricing or product specifications.
Not to mention, you also gain access to a global network of distributors, manufacturers and suppliers with can easily be managed and categorized all in one place.