Trade fairs are not cheap. Participation in foreign trade fairs costs a lot of money. International trade fairs are usually much more expensive than national or regional fairs and the better known the trade fair, the more expensive it will be.

Your budget needs to be fairly detailed as your budget will also underpin some of the operational activities you will need to perform (such as printing business cards and arranging transportation for your products to the fair). In the early stages of preparing your budget, you may not know all of the costs, but estimate them as far as possible and revisit the budget regularly to update the outstanding costs. Preparing for a trade fair is also a time consuming activity and for this reason you need to do the budgeting (and planning) well in advance.

Likely cost items

The likely expenses you will incur are the following:

  • Renting a stand usually on a space basis
  • Electricity and water charges, including any required fittings
  • Designing the stand (if you plan to have a professionally designed stand)
  • Building the stand (you may be able to do this yourself, but your may also require help)
  • Renting or buying display racks and other stand furniture
  • Telephone installation and call charges (perhaps you will make use of a cell phone instead)
  • Internet access and usage charges (if required)
  • Forwarding and insurance costs to get your samples and materials to the fair (this could be very high if you are taking heavy industrial machinery with you)
  • Delivery of the display goods from the airport or harbour to the trade fair
  • Customs clearing charges
  • Cleaning of the stand (especially after the fair) – this may be a required fee
  • Dismantling of the stand after the fair
  • Security services – this may be fixed or optional fee
  • Arranging a reception or cocktail during the course of the event
  • Advertising and publicity charges
  • Printing costs of brochures, catalogues, flyers, posters and/or business cards (or transportation costs if you are taking these materials with you)
  • Any additional staff costs, if you plan to hire an assistant to help with the stand or perhaps with interpreting
  • Any additional market research costs
  • The travel costs associated with attending the trade fair, including all follow-up visits after the fair has ended