Corporate Trade Show Exhibit Budgets

Survey: Fortune 1000 Exhibit Budgets are Up, But so are Costs

The reality of hard cost increases, surging labor pay and revised partner rate cards? Two-thirds of corporate exhibitors (66 percent) expect the cost of exhibiting to impact what shows they exhibit at and how big of a footprint they activate this year, according to the 2024 EDPA Industry Insights survey fielded by Event Marketer and Access TCA. Four call-outs from the dataset:


2024 Budgets Up… Sort Of.

Most (but sadly, not all) will do their best to fight rising costs with budgets. Some 42 percent of corporate exhibitors expect budgets to increase this year and 31 percent project flat budgets. Only 27 percent expect a decrease.

Headcount Flat… ish.

Looking specifically at the corporate trade show teams themselves, 59 percent expect to stay flat on body count this year while 27 percent expect to add people to the team; and 14 percent expect to decrease team count.

Ideas for Exhibitors… Price for CMOs.

But despite the reality of executing post-pandemic trade show activations amid a new cost reality, when asked what matters the most when building a trade show strategy, 57 percent of corporate trade show teams said creative, 29 percent said price and 14 percent pointed to logistics. (Interesting twist: But when asked what matters most to their cmo, 49 percent of exhibitors said their cmo primarily cares about price, 27 percent said their cmo cares most about logistics and 24 percent said their cmo prioritized creative.)

But according to the exhibitors our editors met with last week at CES in Las Vegas and NRF this week in New York City, corporate trade show teams are working more closely with their exhibit agencies this year to lean into more “efficient” activations built around minimizing the costs—but not the strategy.

Image Credit: iStock/girafchik123

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