Exhibitions can be one of the largest chunks of marketing spend and are often considered an expensive necessary evil. If considered as only a ‘flag flying exercise’ then this is almost definitely true. The reality is with care and consideration an exhibition stand can arguably offer the best ROI ratio of any form of marketing for your business. Approximately 88% of all visitors to any event are personally involved in buying the products or services on offer.

As with all corporate spending it is important not confuse price and value. Price is what you pay and value is what you get. Paying less may not give you the best value. Value could be considered in several ways:-

  • Cost of building a meeting room on a stand and sending 20 invites out vs. sending salespeople to 20 separate locations
  • Cost of creating a presentation area on a stand and adding a touchscreen and providing 8 stools vs. hiring a hotel, staff costs, and getting your prospects to attend a separate company presentation.

In both these cases the price for the stand build would be more expensive, however the value could be seen as much better. In other words when establishing a budget to consider both the return on investment and the return on objectives. £10,000 spent on a stand that gives no leads is more costly than £20,000 that generates plenty of orders.

It is also important that the quality of the stand reflects where your product is in the marketplace. A cheap looking stand can make your company look like a low-cost solution to the visitors to the show. Conversely a well executed and quality stand can add perceived value to what you are offering.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking a bit ‘pie in the sky’ at first and pushing your luck with what you want on your stand from your budget. By working through costs with your supplier you can come to a good solution that will fit. It is important though to give an actual budget figure to them before they start the design process. If you went into a car showroom they would need to know if you are looking for a Beetle or a Bentley. Extra value can be obtained by using existing rental items such as reception desks that contractors may have already manufactured. The specification can be tailored to suit your budget in the same way that you would choose optional extras on a car.

Some Pointers…

As a general guide, most money spent on an exhibition stand can be split into three areas


  • 1/3 on space
  • 1/3 on stand build
  • 1/3 on other (pre-show marketing and planning, hotels, staff costs during the show, hospitality)

When paying for the space at an exhibition, remember to include as well as the organiser’s charge for space to include additional costs that may not be included. These can include electric points (they may want £300 for 3kw just so you can run a kettle!), drop wires if you want to hang banners, sponsorship charges and storage for goods that are not on the stand.

Exhibition Stand build Costs

The main costs involved in the construction of any stand consist of manufacture, build up and break down.  The actual workshop manufacture of the stand represents roughly a third of the overall stand build cost which can include the manufacture of displays, specially built structure, rental of stock panels and flooring.  But it should also include less tangible services including transportation of the stand to and from site, hotel and travel costs for crew members, subsidence costs as well as customs charges.

Similar to a budget airline flight, many of the costs of exhibiting can be hidden as ‘extras’ which include graphics, hanging banners, lighting and audio/visual devices. You should always ensure that you are comparing like for like and look closely at quotes from any exhibition contractors to check that you are getting a full turnkey service.

Eden Exhibition In Manchester are one of the UK’s leading Exhibition stand design and build companies, we offer both free design and Pre-build to ensure we find not only a perfect solution but help you create a great ROI at your next Exhibition…