Event marketing has become increasingly expensive over the past several years. The costs of renting space, designing attractive displays and hiring motivated staff for your booths can give any new trade show marketer pause. But, event marketing continues to be a potent source of profitable business for myself and my clients.

The key is to create a trade show budget that allows you enough flexibility to leverage your strengths while keeping your expenses under control. Today, I’ll explain how to plan your budget with the proper focus on lead follow-up and conversions.

Plan Your Expenses

The first step in creating your budget for the event is to identify the most significant expenses. In my experience, the majority of your budget will be spent on exhibit space, booth rental fees, employees and the costs associated with your displays. That includes registration fees, design and production costs of your displays and staff training.

If the trade show is a multi-day event, you’ll need to budget for accommodations for yourself and your staff. Other expenses that you should plan for include shipping costs, insurance, various services provided by the venue (A/V equipment, security, etc.), and printing costs for the literature you’ll have at your booth.

Focus On Conversions

It’s easy to look at your trade show budget and feel overwhelmed. Especially as the expenses swell. That’s why you need to focus on converting as many targeted leads into customers as possible. Your conversion rate will be largely determined by how effective your follow-up process is. I’ve provided good advice about this in a recent post. While attracting visitors to your trade show booth is important, your follow-up strategy can make or break your event marketing efforts.

It’s essential that you train your staff to qualify prospects. They need to identify their needs in order to follow up and convert them into customers. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on each trade show, you must make sure that your conversion process makes your efforts worthwhile.

Spending Money For Long-Term Profits

Profitable trade show marketing is part science and part art. You need to meticulously plan your event budget. And you need to diligently take action on the strategies and tactics I’m sharing with you to leverage your success. It’s practically impossible to succeed in event marketing without allocating at least a small budget.

The secret is to squeeze as much profit as you can from the money you spend. First, drive traffic to your trade show booth. Then, train your staff to qualify leads. Finally, implement a follow-up procedure that converts those leads into paying customers. That’s how you make the most of your trade show budget.