How Much For An ISC West 2014 Booth?

Author: John Honovich, Published on Oct 08, 2013

So you want to exhibit an a trade show? It will cost you.

In this note, we examine the prices for exhibiting at ISC West 2014 ranging from a big booth next to Axis and Sony, down to the little tabletop booths at the edge of the show floor.

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Comments (14)

The floor space is certainly pricey, and as you note that is not the only costs.

"From experience" a 20' x 30' booth might have the following additional costs:

  • Booth rental and shipping (including customization of graphics, etc): $35,000
  • Booth setup labor (hiring a couple of guys to setup and take down the booth itself): $12,000
  • Electrical: $3,000 (more if you want 24/7 power instead of just "show hours")
  • Internet connection: $2,500-$7,000 (and forget about using your Verizon 4G, place is overcrowded with wireless signals to get a good reliable connection).
  • Booth staff: $1,000-$1,500 for T&E (the cost of sending your OWN people), usually a 20x30' booth will end up with at least 8 staff.
  • "Booth Babe": want to hire a badge scanner (and by this I mean someone who looks normal and professional) $300-$500/day.
  • Printing, give-aways, last-minute shipping, etc: $4,000+
  • "Customer event", want to throw a little party for 200 people, or a nice dinner, etc: $5,000-$50,000+

So, ISC West can *easily* be a $200,000+ throw down for even a "basic" presence.

This is a great list! I actually underestimated how much it costs for shipping and setup.

Brian, what is a fair number of scanned badges/leads/visits one should expect for a booth? Say, again, 20'x 30' booth? 500? 1000?

Over the course of a 3-day show, 1500 uniques scans is achievable.

It depends a little bit on what you're after. If you want to be somewhat selective, then 1200-1600 is normal. If you want to get as many leads as possible with no filter, then you can hire 2 aggressive badge-scan girls and get maybe 5000+ (ref: Acti).

Keep in mind that people seem to travel in average pack of 3. So those 1500 scans might represent 500 organizations. By "unique", I mean unique person (sometimes the same person will get scaned 2x or 3x, especially if they come by each day for something and you're employing dedicated badge-scanning people).

There is a factor of diminishing returns too. Let's say you're launching a new company with a viable product, even $200,000 for 500 real corporate leads is not bad math. Let's say you have an average sale of $10,000, and you close 5% of those 500*.05*10,000 = $250,000 (there are lots of variations on this math, so I'm just using this as an example for the next part...)

The more interesting calculation is "what is the value in returning each year?". After a while, you might only be getting 100 new unique corporate leads, or even 60. But, if you don't show up will your company be perceived as "missing" or "struggling"? If you go from a 50'x50' booth to a 30'x30' how is that perceived? Or, should you do a 20x20 and throw a kick-ass appreciation party for your loyal customers?

Interesting. My guess was way low on the ACTi marauding booth scanning girls. If your guess is close, then it's obviously very lucrative to do that (though obviously annoying and against the rules), given the incremental cost to have a few people spend a few days doing this.

As for "$200,000 for 500 real corporate leads", I guess if they were warm leads, people saying "Yes I am looking to buy a product in your category in the next year," that would be worth it. However, I assume that of those 1500, most are not that 'real'.

Interestingly, this sentiment seems to be one of the most powerful reasons for coming back: "if you don't show up will your company be perceived as 'missing' or 'struggling'?"

I am skeptical of that impact. It might produce some sales guy banter, but I doubt it's going to cost any significant amount of real deals. That said, I do think it's more of a factor for very big companies (on the other hand, Bosch had no real ASIS booth last year and a small one this year - did that really hurt them?).

As for "$200,000 for 500 real corporate leads", I guess if they were warm leads, people saying "Yes I am looking to buy a product in your category in the next year," that would be worth it. However, I assume that of those 1500, most are not that 'real'.

That's what I meant to say by "being selective". Talk THEN scan, not scan then talk. Basically get an idea that the person has some remote interest in your product. But still only a small percentage of THOSE are going to be people making a near-term buying decision.

I've also had countless cases of "I've stopped by your booth the last X years, and been telling my management we need this, and not finally have the budget". So, there is value in the repetiveness over years.

Your example of Bosch is peculiar...

I'm probably a slim opinion here, but if I see one of my mainline brands with an ostentatious booth, thousands of give away pencils and things of chap-stik, and a special 'loyalty party' held off site after hours, I would tend to be frustrated the company doesn't opt for more a modest trade floor presence and instead offer lower prices to bid with. All that momentary excess at the tradeshow doesn't help me sell back home.

It's a fickle thing, because NOT being at a tradeshow is a warning sign, but so is being 'too big'.

Still mad that Steve Young refused to shake you hand, eh? :)

I would destroy Steve Young's Wonderlic score. He should ask to shake MY hand.

/jealousy

You're probably in the minority with this opinion though. My non-statistical sample tells me that many people will choose product based on invites to ISC West parties, all other things being equal (not that they ever are).

IMO, there are a lot of integrators who see the parties and give-aways in essence as things they are "owed", it's a loyalty pay back.

"Many people will choose product based on invites to ISC West parties"

"The parties and give-aways in essence as things they are "owed", it's a loyalty pay back."

Sigh. I believe that. I am not sure what percentage of integrators do that, but they are there. The problem is, people who like going on junkets tend to see all products as being equal, often partially because of the junket.

They should've taken that $141k and put half of it into their website...

Great info. thats a buttload of money

Well did you notice what Siemens did at ASIS? They had a small card table, with directions to contact them to get to their staffed location off the floor. I didn't have time to visit, but sounds like a great way to qualify guests.

Marc, there's a lot of companies who do some variant of that, with private meetings rooms near the show floor. I agree this helps qualify guests. And it's much less expensive (easily 50% less or more for a given area) and obviously it's a lot quieter / private.

The downside is that you are unlikely to have people wander into your booth so you are giving up some number of prospective new partners or customers. How many? How much value is that? Those are the tough questions.

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