How can we calculate what a trade fair will cost us?

In order to configure a trade fair budget globally, an appropriate benchmark is the cost of the space rented at the trade fair. With this reference, the total budget of the trade fair action is usually around five times this cost.

But how is the investment distributed?


If the total investment is five times the cost of the land then the rental of the space will account for 20% of our budget.

The stand accounts for about 32%. This concept includes all the elements that are generally included by the company that makes the stand. The design of the stand, the construction of all its elements, the assembly and disassembly of the stand, the graphics or the rental of the furniture. Set-up and dismantling fees, machinery rental for loading and unloading are also considered within the cost of the stand as they are concepts that are normally included by the same company that builds the stand.

Transportation will be around 9% of our budget. This is the transportation of the products or pieces that we are going to exhibit and that we send directly from our company, as well as the taxes, customs payments, insurance or any other shipment of merchandise that we make to the fair. The transport of the stand is considered within the transport, although it is managed and invoiced directly by the company that makes the stand, it is always a separate concept that we can control or do on our own, in many occasions the transport of the stand and our merchandise is unified. The storage of packaging during the fair is also included in this item.

Eighteen percent of our budget is what staff and travel costs us. The personnel that will attend the stand, either our company’s personnel or external people that we subcontract as hostesses or interpreters. The per diem allowances of such persons, as well as lodging, travel and any other expenses they generate. Staff training and clothing are also included, if any.

Trade fair services account for 7% of the total. These are the services that we contract directly to the fair, such as electricity, water, hanging points, wifi, card readers, cleaning, or security.

The promotion we do will take 9% of the budget. We consider here the communication and publicity actions we carry out. Invitations, advertisements, promotions, graphic material, translations, campaigns, merchandising, hospitality, sponsorships, etc.

The remaining 5% are other expenses that may arise in each case depending on the event. Extra passes, parking passes, conference attendance, tickets to a dinner or event parallel to the fair and any extra expenses not included in the above items.

This cost distribution is an average of numerous examples from companies in different sectors at different trade fairs.

Of course this distribution of expenses can have many nuances, if the fair is in another country, or in another continent, the transportation and travel expenses will be higher. The prices of the fair services and them2 of floor space can also vary from one fair to another, and if, for example, we want to have our product present in the stand and they are large elements, surely the transportation costs will skyrocket.

It is not intended to be an exact guide to the costs of a trade fair, but rather a reference to help us make an estimate of the trade fair budget, and to know how to distribute our budget.