Exhibition Budget Cost List | Marler Haley

How to Budget for an Exhibition

In this guide, you’re going to learn how to budget for an exhibition.

You’ll get a deeper look into:

  • Costs of exhibitions
  • How to budget for an exhibition
  • A typical checklist of items


We’ve even created an ‘exhibition cost calculator’ spreadsheet to help you keep those budgets in balance.

So if you want to start your exhibition planning on the right foot, keep on reading to find out more.

How to budget for an exhibition

How much do exhibitions cost?

The average cost of an exhibition can range anywhere between £100 for smaller events, up to £5,000 for larger exhibitions, and that's just for floor space!

These costs mostly only include the floor space, or in some instances a shell scheme space too.

For a fully bespoke exhibition stand and build, costs can exceed £50,000.

This is where you have to consider all the other costs associated with exhibiting.

And these costs can be easily underestimated.

Different costs of exhibitions

Exhibitions costs vary on a lot of factors: floor space, the venue, staffing, transportation, the exhibition displays itself… the list is endless.

Baring this in mind, you may want to consider our checklist of costs for exhibitions.

Checklist of costs for exhibitions

You may not need everything in this checklist, but it’s important to consider all the possible costs an exhibition can incur:

  • Exhibition floor space rental
  • Exhibition displays
  • Design time to create graphics
  • Promotional material
  • Transportation costs
  • Accommodation costs
  • Staff for the event
  • Cost of exhibition lighting/power
  • PR campaigns
  • Contingency

How do you budget for a trade show?

You have the checklist of costs, but how do you actually budget for a trade show?

Why not try our Exhibition Budget Spreadsheet? We’ve created this handy spreadsheet where you can input all your figures and calculate your total costs, cost per lead and a cost of sale as a percentage.

Download the spreadsheet and try it out.

Also, don’t forget to create a new budget for every exhibition or event you attend. Costs will never be the same.

Post event reviewing

It's always important even after the event to review your performance and measure your return on investment (ROI).

Learn how to measure ROI to help you get an insight in how to track and improve your campaigns.

If your ROI isn't what you'd like it to be, ask yourself: Was the event the right one for you? What would you change next time to improve your ROI?

If you're a charity, check out our blog about charity displays that gain a good ROI.

Have any questions or tips you'd like to share? Leave a comment below.

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