Sticker shock happens in more places than you might imagine. Purchasing a home or new car will often leave you unpleasantly surprised, but the same feeling can arise when setting up for a trade show. With the premium price tags on exhibit properties, show services and travel accommodations, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the costs of marketing your brand.

Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your marketing budget. Below are the best ways to strategically spend your money and see the most marketing value from your next show.

Attend Worthwhile Shows

Instead of attending the same shows you always do, conduct an audit of your events and determine which ones are still pulling their weight. If you find that some shows are no longer productive, swap them out for different events where you’re likely to find your target audience.

Spend with Your Objectives

Before attending trade shows, determine your goals and how you plan on reaching them. Are you looking to increase qualified leads? Drive traffic to your website? Promote a new item? When you know what your objectives are, you can make smart spending decisions that will help you reach these goals.

Put Value Before Cost

Be careful about cutting corners, especially if you will have to sacrifice value for a cheaper price. A trade show is your opportunity to put your best foot forward in front of a large audience. Saving a few pennies here and there isn’t worth losing customers or your reputation.

Stick to Lightweight Materials

If you want to save money without compromising quality, opting for lightweight materials can make the difference. Lighter materials are less to lug around, which means cheaper shipping and drayage costs. Cost-effective, exhibit-friendly and lightweight options include tensioned fabric, interlocking cardboard, high density foam and inflatable structures.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Discounts

Pay attention to discount deadlines to reduce on-site costs. To keep organized, build out a calendar and give yourself extra time before the real dates. This way, you’re continuously taking advantage of the discounts without spreading your budget too thin.

Planning ahead, staying organized with exhibit dates and opting for lighter weight materials can help trim the fat from your programs. You can also save additional money by building a custom exhibit with The Exhibit Company, Inc. Choose cost-effective materials and reuse your booth as much as you’d like! Win win!