Trade Show Budgeting

Trade show season just ended which means that it is time to start prepping for the upcoming trade show year. As teams plan out their fiscal budgets, it is important to financially plan for the next trade show that you intend to exhibit at. PartsBase is all too aware of this, not just from attending every major aviation show but from hosting the hugely successful PBExpo 2018.

You, as an aviation enthusiast, want to spread awareness of your brand or company. An excellent way to do so is attending trade shows, though there are those that are hesitant to properly budget for shows. Let us help with that!

Find Your Objective!

Whatever your reasoning behind attending a trade show are, it is vitally important to ensure that those objectives work to serve your best interest. A few common questions around trade show objectives are –

• What are we hoping to achieve?
• How much space do we need to capture our objective?
• What type of exhibit will work best for us?
• What sort of promotional content will we utilize?
• How many booth staffers will we need?

The questions mentioned above are just a few surface level questions that are typically asked among first-timers in the trade show industry, but they are also questions that expert level event marketers face on a daily basis when planning a trade show. If your business has specialized needs (perhaps 3 televisions to display your own content instead of the 1 that is provided), make certain that you clearly define them!


There are a few categories that HAVE to be considered when properly budgeting to exhibit at a trade show. PartsBase wants to briefly explore these costs, and offer some potential guidance as to how to properly budget for exhibiting at your next trade show.

1.) Exhibit-related Costs
2.) Promotional Costs (both online and in person)
3.) Staffing Costs
4.) Show Services Costs

These 4 costs are the focal points for many companies looking to exhibit at trade shows or expos. You will need to know, as mentioned above, how much booth space you need to accomplish your predetermined goal as to not waste any unnecessary capital. So what percentage of your budget should be allocated to each of these sections … let PartsBase help!

Exhibiting space should use roughly 30% of your overall tradeshow budget, which accounts for the usual 10×10 booth.

Promotional Costs should at least be 4% or 5% of your overall trade show budget. This will allow your company to stand out slightly, as it gives attendees a “token” to remember your company by.

Staffing (and Traveling) will roughly be about 20% of your overall trade show budget (which accounts for travel costs, food, and lodging). When deciding who to send (or which service to hire), it is important to ensure that who is selected properly represents your brand identity. High Energy!

Show Services can be deceptively expensive (depending on which service you select) because shipping the materials required for a trade show can be costly and require a lot of man-power. This is why PartsBase recommends minimally 10% to 15% of your overall trade show budget.

Wrap Up

Now you may be looking at the numbers above and say “well … that doesn’t add up directly to 100% of my budget” and you would be correct! That is because there is no one selection to be applied to EVERY company that decides to exhibit at a trade show. Your budget and objective should be set on what you believe your company NEEDS.

PartsBase wanted to provide a brief guide as to how to properly budget for your company’s next trade show exhibition. If you enjoyed these tips, please follow our social media for updates on the next Tips & Tricks Blog! PartsBase hopes to hear from you soon with your well-advised budget plan for Exhibiting at PBExpo 2019!

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