28th November 2007

Rob Woolfson: A new way to calculate your exhibition budget

Calling in contractors before you finalise your stand booking can help you get the most from your spend and make sure your event presence is working to the maximum, says Finesse Group’s design manager.

As a successful exhibit design and build company, Finesse Group has always risen to the challenge of a free pitch. There are numerous goals involved in such a venture, the most important of which is the extraction of the client’s budget, after which we will study the brief, evaluate and finally create the ideal custom made exhibition design. There are of course three outcomes to the free pitch process, which are win, lose or the client simply decides not to attend the show after all.

It is the last outcome that has prompted us to suggest a different way for companies to draw up their initial budget when looking to exhibit at an event. In general, companies approach us after they have booked the space, but before they have realised how much it will cost to fill that area with an eye-catching, sales-boosting design.

But we recommend you get in contact as soon as you start to think about exhibiting, to talk about exactly what you wish to gain from the show and how we could help you achieve that. This will help you get the most from your budget by optimising the stand size, which is where the initial expenditure arises.

Our help in advising you on what elements you really need on the stand could help dramatically cut costs by removing otherwise space-consuming components. Every part of the stand needs to earn its place by proving its cost benefit. After studying your long-term exhibiting goals, we can help you decide what really needs to go on your stand.

Every object takes up a certain amount of space, which translates directly into a per meter square cost. For example, a table and four chairs takes up about five square metres of space, as opposed to a high table and stools, which takes up about three square meters, which translates into hundreds of pounds of difference in space purchase. By helping you decide what you really need from the very beginning, we can help you save costs much further down the line.

Your primary goal should be to work backwards when calculating costs. From working out product and graphic display space to the size of your storeroom, every aspect of your stand can be finely tuned. This means we can more accurately estimate your required stand space and calculate your design, build and installation costs. The end result is that you can find out from the organisers what your optimal stand space is going to cost, which, together with our estimate, will give you a more realistic overview of total exhibiting costs before you have committed to attending the show.

By taking this forward-thinking approach to exhibiting, your annual budget can be used far more efficiently and you have the piece of mind of knowing that your decision-making process is extremely well informed.

Rob Woolfson, design manager, Finesse Group