A short guide to mastering your European trade show budget (£)

September 20, 2022

In the midst of preparing for a trade show, it can be very easy for costs to be overlooked as a priority. Budget allocation is crucial for any company when spending a large sum of finances on attending an event.  A recent survey found that 83% of trade show exhibitors said meeting potential customers was the biggest benefit. The leads which are generated can be fantastic for sales and exposure, yet high exhibiting costs can reduce the overall ROI.

Quadrant2Design, a UK-based tradeshow stand contractor, has created a trade show budget breakdown guide to prevent ROI numbers from falling. The template specializes in prioritizing costs for each element building up to the main event. Using the template essentially can take the pressure of worrying about costs, thus focusing more attention on important factors such as stand design and colors, transportation and staff training.

You can download the trade show budgeting tool here. 


Trade shows and costs have a very broad relationship. As with many other industries, there are a wide variety of factors that can play a part. This is where the free trade show budget guide can be truly optimized. It can be used as the primal point of starting the entire process, acting as a detailed breakdown to help you understand exactly how, why and where money needs to be to run at maximum efficiency.

40-50% of the event budget should be allocated to your trade show stand.

The last thing you need is to spend thousands of pounds on floor space at a trade show, only to have enough money for a few pull-up banners. This is a common occurrence. It's extremely imperative to make an outstanding first impression when you're in the same room as your competitors, key customers, and prospects. That means investing in an eye-catching stand.

25-35% of the event budget should be allocated to floor space.

It would be advisable not to purchase your floor space until a budget has been set. Dependent on the event, venue and country, prices can vary, however, they do tend to be reasonably high. Once you have applied your budget to the guide, an estimate will be generated on the recommended amount of money you should pay for your floor space.

Additionally, the budget breakdown tool will also suggest the size of floor space (square meters) you may want to invest in. For example, with a £15,000 budget, the tool recommends a floor space of 18 square meters.

The remaining quarter of your budget should be allocated to adding the finer details of your stand.

With potentially only 25% of the budget remaining, this money needs to be spent covering all the extra areas to make your stand effective. These include screen rentals, furniture, interactive features, on-site services, pre/post event marketing and of course, staffing.

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7 to 8 per cent of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising, and this rule applies to trade show marketing. Similarly, with staffing, they can and will play a major role in your ROI. Organizations that succeed in the best trade shows have a combination of a solid marketing strategy and staff specialized in trade show sales.

To save yourself the hassle, download the free trade show budgeting spreadsheet created. All you have to do is enter the information about your upcoming event and let the formulas do the rest!

Guest Blogger: Matt Baker, Content Manager.  Quadrant2design.com

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