Be Memorable.

Products That Impress. Brands That Get Noticed. Companies You Remember.


Products That Impress. Brands That Get Noticed. Companies You Remember.


We all know that trade shows are an investment, but exactly how much should you be spending on an event? Thousands? Tens of thousands?

Your trade show budget should be roughly three times the amount you plan to spend on your exhibit. On average, it costs about $100-$150 per square foot of floor space. A 10×10 booth space will cost around $14,000, with a total budget of $42,000. Larger 20×20 spaces cost up to $20,000, with a total budget of $60,000.

So, the general ballpark numbers for a trade show are between $40,000 and $60,000. That’s a lot of money!

Four Main Components of Your Trade Show Budget

It helps to break down your expenses so that you know where your budget should be going. There are four main costs to attending a trade show:

  • Trade show exhibit. This includes the cost of the exhibit and the fee to rent the booth space. The larger your exhibit, the higher your expenses.
  • Show services. These services include things like materials/handling, electricity, WiFi, and all other services needed to run your exhibit.
  • Personnel costs. Your personnel costs include expenses related to sending staff on the trip, including hotels, airfare, and meals.

Budget Breakdown on Trade Show Costs

Exhibitor Magazine put together an infographic that outlines the most common trade show expenses and what exhibitors should be spending on them. It helps to visualize them in percentages:

  • Booth space (35%). It costs money to rent floor space, and each venue is different. Plan your events early so that you can take advantage of discounted pricing.
  • Travel & lodging (14%). It also costs money to send your employees to trade shows, so consider the airfare, hotel stays, meals, and other transportation to and from the event.
  • Show services (13%). As we mentioned before, show services include everything needed at the event, such as electricity, internet service, and even vacuuming.
  • Exhibit design and construction (11%). Thanks to lightweight materials, portable exhibits and rental options, exhibit design costs have shrunk over the years.
  • Shipping (10%). Shipping costs, on the other hand, continue to fluctuate. Talk to your exhibitor who may be able to ship your exhibit materials for less.
  • Graphic design (10%). Digital artwork is a lot easier to create than physical artwork, but it still takes time and costs money.
  • Other expenses (7%). This part of your budget should be reserved for branded swag, lead tracking software, etc.

It’s obvious that trade shows are major investments. The reason why people exhibit at them is because they can bring even greater ROI! To help visitors remember your brand in a positive light, be sure to have plenty of branded merchandise on hand. Contact Inkwell Global Marketing to discover the latest swag to reward your audience with!