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Your Guide To Budgeting For A Trade Show Booth

December 19, 2022 /
Conex /
trade show booth

Exhibiting at a trade fair can be a great way to network with others and bring in new business for your company – but the cost of running one can quickly grow.

Budgeting for a trade show booth is an important step to ensure that you can make the most of your investment. Below you can find our top tips and what you’ll need to create your budget.

Let’s take a look.

What do I need to consider before I budget for my trade booth?

Your overall budget should reflect a decent return on investment for you attending the show: it might be tempting to splash out on a fabulous display, but if you only get a few visitors it’s a big expenditure.

You should also look at whether rentals or buying displays works for your business. For most, rentals work well, but if you attend a lot of trade shows it might be worth investing in your own equipment.

Lastly, don’t forget to budget for slightly more than you need to make room for unexpected surprises, like shipping delays and more staffing than you initially thought.

How much does it cost to run a trade show booth?

While you could create a quality trade booth display for as little as a few hundred pounds, some booths run into thousands or even tens of thousands to display. What will cost the most are the design and space you choose in the venue.

It’s difficult to say how much on average a trade show booth costs because the figures are so unique to each stand’s needs. Expect to pay more if you’re attending a sought-after trade fair, have a large stand with lots of extras, and staffing needs.

It’s worth noting no prices are ever set in stone and negotiations on price are always up for grabs. There may be deals and discounts available if a venue is looking to fill slots.

What do I need to budget for with my trade show booth?

What you need to budget for depends on the space and size of your display, how far away you’re travelling from, staffing and marketing. Most of the expense comes from where your booth will be in the trade fair. You might also need to budget for unexpected expenses.

By budgeting for these things ahead of time, you can have a successful trade booth and the costs won’t spiral out of control. Here are the most common things you’ll need to budget for your trade show display.

Floor space and location

Deciding where your booth should be in the exhibition is most likely the second-most expensive part of your budget behind design. This is the foundation of your trade show success, so do your research beforehand on where the best location for your booth is for your business.

If you want to be close to the entrances, this will cost more than being further back. Make sure to plan the layout of the booth in a way that maximises visibility and accessibility, then decide on whether you need more floor space than you’d originally planned.

Carpet and padding

Not only does carpeting factor into the overall look of your trade booth, it provides vital padding for your attendees to walk comfortably. The carpet needs to be durable and able to withstand substantial footfall, while complementing the look of your booth.

You can check ahead of time with the venue to see if they have flooring available themselves, especially if they host a lot of trade fairs. Other options include renting flooring tiles or even buying your own supply, if attending multiple trade fairs is in your marketing budget.

Display design

The fun part of a trade show booth is laying out how you’d like to impress potential customers and networkers with a beautiful, professional display. A well-designed trade show booth can help to attract attendees, showcase your products or services, and promote your brand. Because of this, it’s often the most expensive aspect of any trade show budget.

To budget for the design, plan out what you want your booth to look like. Will it be a simple pop-up booth, or a modular display? Do you need to hire temporary walling and furniture, or fun extras like TVs? Once you have the full list, you can budget accordingly.


Travel expenses, shipping and handling can eat away at your budget if you don’t keep a tight handle on logistics. You may need to pay fees to the venue for exhibiting, too.

Make sure to plan ahead for how the day or weekend will run, including setup and breakdown times. Budget ahead for any unexpected delays or additional staff costs, and weigh up the best way to transport your trade booth materials so you can get the best price.


If you have a large booth with multiple areas such as a demonstration area, a reception area and a sales area, you may want to hire multiple staff members to help manage each section.

If you’re planning on hiring staff for your trade booth, you should consider how much it costs to train them if they’re not already part of the business. You’ll also need to factor in any hotel stays and meals needed for your staff, if applicable.


If you want to leave a lasting impression on attendees, you may want to have marketing materials like brochures, flyers and business cards to hand out at the trade fair. The design and printing process for marketing collateral therefore needs to be factored into your budget.

What kind of marketing works best for your trade booth depends on your industry and the audience you’re trying to reach. You may be able to save on costs by using social media to generate buzz around your booth ahead of time.

Final thoughts

Creating a budget for your trade show booth is a sensible way to keep on top of costs while making sure your return on investment is as strong as possible.

At Conex, we pride ourselves in providing high-quality temporary walling solutions. Get in touch if you want a quote.