How Much Does an Exhibition Stand Cost?
Exhibition Industry Begins Recovery
The exhibition industry is gradually brightening after the wide-ranging impact of Covid-19 on the global economy. UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, just released the 29th Edition of its “Global Exhibition Barometer” that surveyed 366 companies from 57 countries.
Most industry professionals see the sector as beginning its rebound, with revenues for the first half of 2023 reaching nearly 90% of those of 2019. Six in ten companies report a return to “normal activity”. By the end of the year, 70% of companies expect they will be back at the pre “2019” normal.
In many countries, exhibition businesses had a complete halt during the pandemic. Alternatives such as virtual meetups did not have the same impact as in person events. An informal survey among exhibitors revealed that the lack of trade shows had many negative effects including a drop in new business, difficulty reaching new markets and keeping up with new trends. Thus, many companies intend to participate in more exhibitions as most restrictions have now been eased.
In the Middle East, particularly in the UAE, KSA and Qatar, the industry began rebounding in the second half of 2021 and the pace is picking up rapidly. More than 180 events are already scheduled for 2022-23 in UAE, 41 in KSA and 9 in Qatar.
The exhibition industry is one of the pillars of economic diversification in the region and governments are taking all necessary steps to support the sector recovery, including lifting travel restrictions, and instituting public safety measures. For instance, Dubai has a target of hosting 400 events annually by 2025. The UAE has modelled how to foster the event industry in a post-Covid-19 environment by having one of the most successful vaccination drives in the world and easing visa restrictions. The successful conclusion of EXPO2020 highlighted this.
Exhibition Stand Pricing: A Quick Guide
If you haven’t exhibited in a long time, or if this is the first time you are venturing into the trade show world, one of the first questions that usually comes up is how much it will cost. Followed quickly, by “Is it worth it?”
Exhibition stand cost is not as difficult to understand as it seems. Becoming aware of all the cost elements involved in exhibition stands will help you set a realistic budget that helps you achieve your objectives.
It goes without saying that you want the best stand within your budget – because a well-designed and well-executed stand represents your company, introduces your products, and services and attracts customers. Not only that, in this newly digital world, it’s not only exhibition visitors who will be seeing your stand, but thousands, perhaps millions of people can see your stand on social media.
Firstly, there is no average exhibition stand cost. There are too many variables involved. Here is a quick run-down of what you are paying for.
Participating in an event as an exhibitor means that you need to rent the space for your stand or installation from the event organisers. This is calculated according to location in the exhibition space plus square footage. You can either do this directly or in consultation with your exhibition stand provider. You can pay the rental costs as part of your exhibition booth budget or separately.
Designing the exhibition booth is the most critical part of the process as it doesn’t only need to capture your brand or vision but also has to take into consideration the space, logistics and other elements into account. This then must be carried out by the exhibition stand company.
- Project Management
During the exhibition period, you will need to ensure that everything is running properly. Your service provider should provide project management services from the instant they receive your design brief until the time when the stand is disassembled at the end of the exhibition.
- Exhibition Stand Build
After agreeing with a service provider on the specifications for your stand, the next stage is to create the booth, including building or provisioning all the constituent components. Your exhibition stand contractor will provide you with a budget including:
Structure Manufacture: Build and Décor
- Walls and Flooring
- Graphics such as banners, and pop-ups
- Fit out – furniture and décor items
- AV, presentation equipment and digital elements e.g., digital displays and interactive elements
- Logistics & On-site Services
- Power, lighting, and digital connectivity
- Installation and dismantling
Given the above cost elements, there will be a wide variation in possible exhibition stand budgets. You could spend anywhere from $200 for a brochure stand to more than $500,000 for a double-decker installation. It all depends on the impact you want to make. Reject the idea of going cheap and embrace the concept of creative cost-effective solutions. How do you make your budget go farther? How do you guarantee that you are getting the best value with the highest quality? The answer lies in the company you select to execute and deliver your stand. Your stand contractor must be able to deliver the following:
- Quality Focus: including sourcing the best supplies and materials within budget
- Attention to Detail at every stage of the build, installation, and disassembly process
- Premium Finishing
Other Factors to Consider that Affect Exhibition Stand Cost
A customised stand is a totally bespoke designed and built display. All the elements from flooring, walls and levels are constructed according to your unique specifications. Modular exhibition stands on the other hand are prefabricated units that can be assembled in different combinations and arrangements to create a complete exhibition stand.
An exhibition stand can also combine customised with modular elements. Typically, the more customisation that is required in a display, the higher the cost will be. Modular solutions are very cost-effective, but they have limited customisation options. Nevertheless, because they are reusable, they are more environmentally and budget friendly.
For instance, SLIK is a reusable system based on aluminium frame construction and panels that is easily transported and assembled. It has a wide variety of uses including exhibition stands, feature walls, pop-ups, kiosks, backdrops and signages. Using such a solution cuts down on labour and material costs – because everything is ready to go. It just needs to be transported and assembled.
Logistics & Transport
An experienced exhibition stand contractor can guarantee on-time delivery and implement the most efficient labour and transport practices. This efficiency is passed on to you as cost savings.
Graphics are essential in any stand. They add to the visual appeal as well as conveying important information about your brand. They are vital for brand recognition and visibility. When the format, sizing and placement are used effectively, they can grab your target audience’s attention and elevate the overall stand atmosphere. Yes, basic graphics are very affordable and newer techniques cost more, but the latter can deliver more spectacular results.
Furniture & Décor
The quality of the furniture and décor items used, as well as the duration of the rental all contribute to the exhibition stand cost. Prices will vary depending on your goals, from a simple booth equipped with desk and basic seating to a lavish VIP seating area accented with luxe decor. The guiding principle is to focus on creating a mood that fits into your brand image while enhancing the exhibition stand space.
For instance, you want to create a cool but comfy Scandinavian setup for a large entry area in front of your exhibition stand. Then, you would want to add your brand colours for a “Wow” effect. This will require re-upholstering sofas and chairs, and perhaps painting furniture, which adds to the budget. Or, if you want to split up your space into several semi-private seating or meeting areas for side discussions with clients, you can use modular carved wooden partitions, or plexiglass or acrylic room dividers. Any choice that takes you from the generic to bespoke will add to the budget, depending on the amount of customisation needed and the materials used.
Final Thoughts: Estimating your Exhibition Stand Cost
There is no “average” exhibition stand price. As discussed, the cost of your stand is determined by the range of choices you make regarding the design including:
- Size and complexity of stand
- Customised or modular design – manufacturing versus assembling
- Type of furniture and décor – buying versus renting
- Graphics – number and quality
By understanding the different elements contributing to the overall exhibition cost, you can see how to maximise the value of your expenditure by having an impactful stand. It reinforces your brand message, and spotlights your products and services, making your exhibition stand attract more visitors and wow your potential clients. Its impact on your sales and reputation should be taken into account when you are calculating the return on your investment.
Electra Solutions can help you implement all the different elements of successful stand design to put your company or client in the best possible light. We are a fully integrated provider of comprehensive event solutions. Our in-house production facilities and experienced craftspeople can create unique bespoke pieces to your specific requirements. We provide end-to-end solutions to implement your design concepts, including custom made exhibition stands, exhibitions, scenography, contracting and management, event’s décor and setup, semi-permanent museum exhibitions. We have developed many creative and flexible solutions to fit every need. It all depends on the brand image you need to convey. The only limit is your imagination. Contact us today and let us help you achieve your exhibition goals.
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