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How to Save Money at Trade Shows: Tips and Strategies

Learn effective strategies and practical tips for saving money at trade shows. Discover cost-effective trade show planning and budgeting techniques to achieve your objectives without overspending.

Maximizing Trade Show ROI: Introduction to Cost-Effective Planning

Trade shows are a critical part of many businesses marketing strategies. They provide opportunities to connect with potential customers, showcase new products, and strengthen your brand’s reputation. However, participating in trade shows can also be expensive. Between booth setup costs, travel and accommodation, promotional materials, and more, your trade show budget can quickly balloon if not managed carefully. The good news is with intelligent planning and practical tips, you can save money while still achieving your trade show objectives.

Leverage EventWeb for Trade Show Planning

One of the first steps to saving money at trade shows is utilizing the right tools for planning and execution. EventWeb offers various features to aid in cost-effective planning, such as Directory listings, blog resources, and a unique RFP Wizard that can help streamline your budgeting process.

Planning Phase: Smart Budgeting Tips

Start Early: The Value of Time in Saving Money

Like any other event, early planning can result in significant savings for trade shows. The earlier you book your booth space, secure travel arrangements, and order promotional materials, the more likely you will get the best deals.

Detailed Budgeting: Know Where Your Money Goes

Understanding where your money goes is essential. Break down your budget into different categories, such as booth setup, promotional materials, travel, accommodation, etc., to keep track of your expenses. It will help you identify areas where you can cut costs.

Setting Priorities: Align Spending with Objectives

Not all expenses are created equal. Allocate your budget based on your goals for the trade show. If networking is your primary objective, you should spend more on comfortable and welcoming booth space. If brand visibility is your goal, high-quality promotional materials might be where you want to invest.

save money at trade shows How to Save Money at Trade Shows: Tips and Strategies
save money at trade shows How to Save Money at Trade Shows: Tips and Strategies

During the Trade Show: Cost-Effective Strategies

Transportation and Accommodation: Spend Wisely

Research different transportation and accommodation options to get the best rates. Book in groups to take advantage of group discounts.

Use Technology: Digital Alternatives to Reduce Costs

From digital brochures to lead capture apps, technology can help you cut costs at the trade show. Consider digital alternatives to traditional, often more expensive, methods.

Networking: Maximizing Value

Remember that one of the most significant values of a trade show is the opportunity to network. Maximize this opportunity – the relationships and leads you to gather can more than make up for the cost of attendance.

save money at trade shows How to Save Money at Trade Shows: Tips and Strategies

Post-Trade Show: Evaluating and Learning

Post-Event Analysis: Understanding Costs

Once the trade show is over, take the time to go through your expenses. This analysis will give insights into which investments gave you a good return and which didn’t.

Learn and Adapt: Improving for the Future

Take lessons from each trade show and apply them to future events. The goal is continuously to improve your budgeting and spending strategy for every trade show you attend.

save money at trade shows How to Save Money at Trade Shows: Tips and Strategies

Wrapping Up: The Art of Cost-Effective Trade Show Planning

Saving money at trade shows doesn’t mean compromising on your objectives. It’s about thoughtful planning, smart spending, and continuous learning. Tools and resources like those offered on EventWeb, including the RFP Wizard, can be invaluable allies in your cost-saving journey.

For more insights on trade show planning and budgeting, check out the resources and blogs on EventWeb. From industry trends to tips and strategies, you’ll find a wealth of information to make your next trade show successful while keeping your budget in check.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Start by planning early to take advantage of early bird discounts on booth space, travel, and accommodation. Utilize tools like EventWeb for efficient planning and budgeting. Break down your expenses into categories to better understand where you can cut costs, and prioritize your spending based on your trade show objectives.

Technology offers various digital alternatives that can be more cost-effective than traditional methods. For example, digital brochures can save on printing costs, and lead capture apps can streamline the process of gathering and organizing contact information, reducing the need for expensive promotional materials and manual labor.

Networking is one of the primary opportunities trade shows offer. By maximizing your networking efforts, you can build valuable relationships and generate leads that may result in business opportunities. These outcomes can significantly outweigh the costs of attending, making networking a highly cost-effective strategy.

After the trade show, conduct a thorough post-event analysis of your expenses to identify which investments yielded a good return and which did not. Learn from this analysis to continuously improve your budgeting and spending strategies for future trade shows. This process involves adjusting your approach based on what worked and what didn’t, ensuring more efficient and effective participation in future events.

Table of Contents

Do I need to create an account to use the site?

No, you can view any of the areas listed below without needing an account:

  • Help Wanted Ads
  • Profiles of any Producers, Virtual Producers, Freelancers & Independent Contractors, or Industry Suppliers
  • Promos

To perform the following actions, you’ll need to create a free account:

  • Post your resume
  • Apply to Help Wanted Ad through EventWeb
  • Create a profile 
  • Post a Promo
  • Use the Resume Wizard
  • Use the RFP Wizard
Is EventWeb free?

 It is free to create an account on EventWeb, and the vast majority of our features are free to use!  Here’s a list of all our free features:

  • Browsing Help Wanted Ads
  • Browsing directories 
  • Contacting any businesses listed in directories
  • Submitting resumes into the Resume Directory
  • Applying to jobs through EventWeb
  • Creating an RFP using the RFP Wizard
  • Creating a resume using the Resume Wizard
  • Browsing and using Promos
  • Accessing our Industry Knowledge Center
What services do you charge for on EventWeb?

EventWeb charges for the following services:

  • Browsing the Resume Directory
  • Posting a profile into one of our Directories
  • Posting a Promo
  • Advertising on the various areas of the website
How much does it cost to get listed in a directory?

Here’s a pricing breakdown for the various directories:

  • Producer Directory
    • Tier 1 (Large Producers): $200/mo
    • Tier 2 (Mid-sized Producers): $150/mo
    • Tier 3 (Small Producers): $125/mo
  • Virtual Producers: $250/mo
  • Industry Suppliers: $100/mo
  • Freelancers & Independent Contractors: $75/mo
How much does the Resume Directory cost to view?

Being a startup, the resume directory will be free for any paying directory members while we work to increase the number of resumes we have listed.

How much do Promos cost to run?

Promos cost $95/mo to have listed.

What are your advertising costs and options?

Please reach out to us directly at to discuss advertising opportunities.

What’s the difference between Tier 1, 2, and 3 Producers?

We have no strict guideline for Producer tier levels and allow Producers to decide this level for themselves.  The way we see it, some Producers in our industry are better equipped to handle large projects than others, and some Producers are better equipped to handle smaller projects.  Event Managers are aware of this, and when searching for partners, it helps greatly to understand the type of Producer they’re considering working with.  For example, if a company’s next event is a 10,000 square foot CES custom buildout with a $2 million dollar budget, then consulting with a Tier 3 company that only has four employees and typically handles projects in the $50,000 range may not be the best use of time for the Event Manager or the Producer.  In contrast, if an event calls for a 200 square foot rental exhibit at a small venue, engaging a Producer with hundreds of employees who typically works on $500,000 projects may also not be the best use of time.  Certainly this isn’t always going to be true as many Tier 1 Producers handle smaller accounts and plenty of Tier 3 Producers also have large accounts, but our feeling is that indicating tier levels can greatly help Event Managers and Producers best manage response expectations for new projects.

How can we add a search field option to the drop down that isn’t currently listed?

Drop us a line at and let us know what you’re looking for!  We can easily add your suggestion so the option becomes available.

How do I reset filters in directory searches?

Just click on the “Reset Filters” button located at the bottom of the filter section.

After I save a company listed in the directory, where can I find them?

Just navigate to “My Account” and then click on “Favorites” on the left menu.

How do I submit my Resume to Help Wanted Ads?

After clicking on an ad in the Help Wanted section, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “Submit Resume”.  Once there, you’ll be prompted to select either a custom uploaded resume or your resume created by the Wizard. 

How many RFPs built in the Wizard can I store on my account?

Currently, EventWeb only supports one active RFP from the Wizard.  You can download your RFP though and store it locally and then create a new one.  You can also create a new account with another email address and store a new one there.  We are working on options for storing multiple RFPs in an upcoming upgrade!

How do I edit an existing RFP from the Wizard?

Click on “My Account”, select RFPs from the left menu, and then click on “RFP Wizard” to access your existing RFP.  Just navigate through the pages to select the field you wish to change and click “Next” until you finish up to recreate and finalize the RFP.

Just click on “My Account” and then click on “Download RFP Wizard” which is located under your email/user type area.

Where can I learn how to use the Resume Wizard?

Check out the tutorial video we made on the Resume Wizard page here: 

Where can I download my Resume?

Click on “My Account” and then click on “Download Resume Wizard” for a PDF you can email or print out to bring with you on an interview.

Are you ready to create the perfect resume for your next tradeshow?

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