Slash Budgets & Travel Expenses for a Traveling Trade Show

August 19th

Looking for ways to slash your budgets and expenditures for the next trade show on your list? After you’ve adjusted the bulk of the booth-related expenses, look a little closer to home and figure out where you can scrimp on travel-related costs. Sure, traveling to a trade show is a chance to use the expense account and do a little wining and dining, but balance is the key to preventing your team’s travel expenses from breaking the bank or dipping into your potential ROI.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Cut Travel Expenses For Out-of-Town Trade Shows

There’s a fine line between being a budget-savvy trade show traveler and being so darn cheap that you and your staff are bleary-eyed from red-eyes and overnights on hard hotel floors. There is a way to travel comfortably, without breaking the bank.

The following are tips and tricks of the trade:

  1. Research per diems. If you’re traveling to a new location, or it’s been a while since you’ve attended an event in a particular city, research current per diem rates so you can budget travel expenses accordingly. A good place to start is the Corporate Travel Index from Business Travel News, which as information on 200 popular cities worldwide.
  2. School your staff. If you aren’t clear about your staff’s per diem expenses, or what expenditures are and are not reimbursable, you can wind up with very unhappy staffers and reimbursements that go well over the initial budget. Get clear on what those daily limits look like, outline them in writing and have staffers sign paperwork so everyone is in agreement.
  3. Negotiate Group Rates. From hotel accommodations to group meals in restaurants, you’d be amazed at what can be negotiated. Work your magic and save hundreds of dollars. Other ways to save:
    –Train instead of plane
    –Select hotels with free breakfasts and/or shuttles
    –Use suites with kitchens to house more staff under one roof and then shop for budget-friendly meals.
    Real time ordering and invoicing apps can help you keep the numbers straight.
  4. Staff geographically. If you’ll be traveling from show to show, it may be more financially wise to staff your booth using professionals who live within close proximity to each venue. Booth staff professionals do a great job with a modicum of training. has real time ordering and invoicing tools and other cloud based trade show planning apps to keep travel expenses in check.

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