Almost every business is tightening its belt in response to the economic crisis. For many companies, the first thing to be cut is the marketing budget, including funding for trade show exhibits. Unfortunately, when many companies cut that budget and stop promoting themselves, they lose some of their client base, which leads to further financial hardship. If you’re determined to cut your budget, you need to do it carefully, ensuring that you keep vital advertising alive while still slashing costs.

Problem: You Can’t Afford A New Trade Show Exhibit

This is a common quandary that many businesses face. You want to replace an old or outdated trade show booth, but can’t quite find the funds. Before you completely nix the idea of buying new, you should discuss it with your trusted company to make sure they can’t offer you a deal. You never know what they might be able to give until you ask! If you just don’t have the money to spend, the best thing to do is to accept that you can’t afford a completely new setup to replace the old one, and to start looking for ways to breathe new life into your old unit.

Solution: Add Spice To An Old Booth

When you are unable to replace your display, try adding something new. If your old trade show exhibit is particularly large, consider using banner stands or other small displays around it. These displays will help add life and give the impression that the entire setup is much newer in comparison. In addition, you can explore options like refinishing the old trade show exhibits without replacing them entirely. You may be able to add selected graphics and text without increasing your cost too much.

Problem: Management Wants You To Stop Attending Conventions

This has been a major problem for many businesses over the past months. Management is notoriously disconnected from the realities of marketing, and doesn’t always understand how important conventions are to your company’s programs. They will often try to cut the convention budget first when money is tight, regardless of the investment your company has previously made in trade show exhibits and other tools.

Solution: Use Facts And Figures To Educate Your Managers

When you’re faced with a board that wants to cut your budget, the best thing to do is show them how important conventions are for your company. Consolidate all the statistics you’ve gathered over the years you’ve been exhibiting, and then create a report to submit to your superiors. Your report could be an argument for maintaining your current budget, but most marketing managers find it useful to analyze any parts of their budget that can be cut and noting those in the report. When your management sees that you’re also looking for ways to save, they’re more likely to take your report seriously.

These problems and solutions address some of the most common issues that come up when budgets get tight. You’ll have to decide what’s right for your situation, and you’ll want to adapt as that situation changes. Keep a cool head, support your statements with facts and figures, and you’ll find yourself successfully cutting your budget without eliminating your convention presence.

Chris Harmen is an author for Skyline, designers of innovative trade show exhibits. New York companies love the combination of originality and budget consciousness that goes into every Skyline NYC trade show exhibit.