A trade show is a great method for a company to display its products and services to potential customers. This event allows companies to set up a booth that will allow the customers to come to them, and explore the possibilities that the company offers.

The key to a successful trade show booth however is budgeting. And this can only be done if the company knows the finances of a trade show booth cost. Many expenses will be included in setting up the trade show. The key however is to know what will be spent, and where it will be spent when setting up a booth at a trade show.

Many companies only take the space cost, or the setup fee as the only expenses. This however is not even close to the only expenses. There are many more, and the aim is to ensure that the company knows exactly where and how its money is spent.

How Much Does It Cost to Produce a Trade Show Booth?

This question does not have a simple multi-digit answer. First and foremost, the price of a booth will be determined by the material, lighting, floor, and all other added expenses. Thus the first step to determining the cost will be to evaluate the expenses and determine what types of expenses are compulsory and which are not. Space rental and space size will impact the trade show booth price of production. 

Breakdown of Trade Show Booth Costs

A breakdown of exactly where the company spends money on the booth is key. The following list provides the company with the necessary parts that will ensure that a booth is of high quality and can be used at multiple tradeshows.


There are many different lights that planners and teams can choose from. This might seem like a simple task, but picking the wrong lights might lead to a dark underwhelming booth. The focus should be to light up the trade show display within the booth so that potential customers can read and see what the company offers.

There is no set price for booth lighting, however, the best option for lights will be LED. On average an LED light costs around $100 to $200 for the entire set. The lights must be placed in such a way that the entire booth is lit up.


The materials of a trade show booth refer to the walls and the surroundings of a booth. The team must determine whether the booth will have soft material or perhaps a silky smooth material to bring the entire booth together.

Many businesses use banners as a setup for a booth, this however can not be the only material that a company use. There are many different types of materials, all differ in price. The bigger the booth size the higher the cost will be.


Furniture will pull the entire booth together. It will allow customers to observe the booth and identify precisely the purpose and goal of the company. The furniture as in a house, will allow the empty spaces to be filled. This will ensure that the booth is not empty, or perceived to be.

There are different types of furniture to choose from. The idea is not to fill the entire space with furniture but rather to fill the spaces that will not be used with furniture. Companies can use furniture such as desks and tables to provide the customer space to fill in or sit during conversations throughout the trade show.


Shipping is a hidden cost that many do not account for. This however can amount to a large sum of money when every part of the trade show needs to be shipped. The first side of shipping is the purchase of goods that will be needed in and on the booth. Companies buy products such as lights, furniture, or materials which all are sent through a courier agency. This will cost shipping.

Companies can lower this shipping cost by either purchasing everything from one company or enlarging the purchase to ensure that it comes with free shipping. Another form of shipping will be to transport the entire booth to the trade show. This must be done by a truck or a pickup truck, which will add extra costs to the booth expenses.

Portable Exhibits

Portable exhibits display refers to the transferable equipment and technology that can be portable. The equipment such as screens, tables, and many others, will be easy to pack and carry around. These displays ensure that customers can access information with a sales member needing to explain the entire booth. This will allow individuals to quickly scan and engage with the company, to identify whether they need the services or products.

Another form of portable exhibit is to create a booth that can be picked up and traveled with, without building or breaking down the booth. The booth can be assembled and removed without any major construction which will save the team money and energy.

Material Handling

Material handling is the transfer, movement, protection, and storage of material. This must be done with care to ensure that none of the pieces of material are damaged. Damaged goods must be replaced, which will cost the company money to replace.

The team must ensure that the material is handled and transported with care at all times. Companies must, however, include damages in the budget to ensure that these problems are accounted for. The material must fit the theme. If the company is advertising a team-building exercise, the surrounding material must support the booth theme.

Show Services

The trade show services are equipment or stock that will be hired during the show. Other forms of show services are rental space, parking space for the sales team, or any other fees added to the bill connected to the trade show. Companies must include these services because they ensure that the team can be present and advertise at a set trade show.


This is the one section that might have some of the biggest impacts on the customers’ perception of the booth. Many companies will avoid spending money on flooring because people will step on it. Creating and installing the right flooring will allow the entire booth to look professional.

A wooden floor or carpet will allow customers to observe exactly where the trade show stops and the company booth starts. The team will be allowed to present high-quality material through something as simple as a decent floor. Flooring cost will, however, be a determining factor of trade show success, the company must aim not to overspend on the flooring.

Check Out Vendor Booth Tips I Wish I Knew Before Displaying At A Trade Show:


This is one aspect that will always be needed for a trade show booth. Companies must install or add storage to the booth to ensure that extra freebies or materials are not visible to the clients. The storage will be used for members’ bags and extra luggage that might be a necessity with every travel.


Modulators are tools that companies can use that will allow them to create and build their booth according to a set structure. The trade show booth builder will provide the team will all the needed equipment, furniture, and material for the entire booth.

This will allow the team to change the information, as well as other smaller factors to build the ideal show booth. This will allow the team to create a booth using an already existing template, which will save the company time. The time saved can be used to promote the conference and booth.

What Are Factors To Consider For Your Budget

There are a few factors that will impact the company budget. These factors must be considered before the trade show booth budget is set in stone.

Chosen Materials

Determining the materials to use for a trade show booth is important. The team must pick materials that will provide the booth a professional look and feel. The company, however, must set a trade show booth budget to prevent the team from spending all the money on the material.

Furniture That You Need

Another factor to consider is the furniture. There is a necessity for furniture within the booth. The team, however, should not place unnecessary furniture in the booth. The key to furniture is to allow the empty spaces to be filled or to provide seats, tables, or desks which will allow the customers to provide their information.

The focus should be only to make use of two to five furniture pieces. This will allow enough space between the pieces to move. The minimalist use of furniture will make the booth open and accessible for the customers.

Booth Size And Shape

The booth size and shape should be adjusted to the recommendations according to the trade show specifics. Thus adjusting the booth according to every show is of utmost importance. The team should focus on building a booth that is big enough to hold a few event staff and a few customers. The focus should not be on building the biggest booth at the show but rather focus on building a booth where the team can fill the space and customers can feel comfortable to be.

Type of Flooring

Flooring is one of the factors with the biggest impact on how people perceive the booth. There are a variety of options to choose from, and companies will have to spend the finances to ensure that the flooring is done properly. The trade show appearance will be influenced by the floor space and the flooring of the actual booth space. 

The flooring must fit the style of the material and the information shared within the booth. The team must decide on a type of flooring that looks professional and adds a certain feel to the boot. Wood, tiles, and high-end carpets are always stand-out examples of good flooring.

Trade Show Cost Calculator

There are many tools that companies can use to ensure that they determine exactly how must need to be spent on the booth space. A cost calculator will allow the team to determine the square foot that will be used, and the amount of finances to cover every square foot.

The calculator will determine the exact amount of money that should be allocated to each considering factor according to the booth size. The team will find this useful, due to the time they will save on the trade show budget creation.

Take a look at our trade show calculator below:

This calculator provides the overall budget estimation. Additionally, the budget breakdown calculator below allows you to breakdown the budget allocation in detail, such as, 35% for the show space rental, 6% for the graphics and materials and so on.

Trade Show Budget Calculator

Trade Show Budget Calculator

Please keep in mind that this is a general guideline and should be used as a reference. Actual budget allocations may vary depending on specific circumstances and requirements.


What Type of Expense is a Trade Show?

There are many different expenses at a trade show. The most common expenses are lighting, material, furniture, flooring storage, and information material for potential customers.

How Much is the Average Trade Show Booth Cost Per Square Foot

Companies can expect to pay $250 per square for a 20 by 20 square. Bigger booths will cost the company less by square, moving to around $100 to $150 per square.

Final Thoughts

There are many factors to take into consideration concerning planning, creating, and the set up a booth. Companies must however focus on creating the best booth according to a set budget. This will allow the team to focus on cheaper options that will still provide a professional look and feel to the booth.

Many companies use trade show exhibits to advertise and promote their businesses. Not only will the company have access to customers directly but can have top tear booth staff providing the necessary information to close the deal. Trade shows can however cost the company some financial damage, the return on investments, however, will be much higher if the trade show booth is built with professionalism and perfection in mind.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.