Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cost Saving Trade Show Travel Tips – Tips to Help Reduce Business Traveling Expenses

Here are some trade show tips form a trade show entertainer

Trade shows are expensive to begin with, but adding in the unseen extras and you can easily spend 100-200 dollars more than expected. Things that are not in the trade show budget will come out of your personal expenses. So here are some friendly tips to help you reduce those hidden trade show expenses.

1. Meals - If you ask the attendant at the front desk where's a good place to eat they normally will recommend the hotel restaurant. Get ready for sticker shock! You can easily spend $75 dollars just on hotel food. Rephrase your dinning question to: I'm looking for a quick bit to eat, where do you (the clerks) go for lunch. Any good fast food restaurants? Asking the question in this manner you get an unrehearsed answer and hopeful a local restaurant that has good food for a reasonable price.

2. Water - Hotels now offer bottled water in the room. This is not free a bottle of water! Expect to pay $5.00 or more for bottled water. When checking in, ask the attendant if there is a pharmacy within walking distance. If there is, buy your water and snack there and save money.

3. Car Rentals - Unless you plan on doing extensive driving go for the lowest price, sub-compact car the dealer offers. Typically car rentals have a limited number of these sub-compact vehicles in stock and when they run out will upgrade you to a larger vehicle at the sub-compact price.

4. Insurance - Check with your insurance company or major credit card provider to see if your present car insurance covers car rentals or if charging the car rental on your credit card, automatically provided insurance. If so, then skip the car rentals insurance offer.

5. Fuel Charges - When ordering your car from the rental agency, request a full tank of gas and make sure the car returns with a full tank of gas. I've made the mistake of returning a car not fully refilled and paid a premium price for gas. When I questioned the bill they stated that they had a fuel service charge included in the gas price. Save yourself some money; return the car with a full tank of gas.

6. Save a day on Airport Car Rental - If your event is at a convention center, not located near the airport, than you have to rent a car at the airport -- here is a trick to save a one day rental charge.

Many times people try to leave the last day of the trade show, but events not close to an airport may require an overnight stay with an early morning departure. To save on the car rental charge, book a hotel close to the airport the very last night. After the show, checkout of your hotel by the convention center and return the car back to the airport car rental. Take the free shuttle at the airport to the hotel you booked adjacent to the airport. Use the free shuttle to get back to the airport in the morning. This way you save a one day rental charge and your proximity to the airport eliminates morning rush hour traffic.


7. Hotel - If possible stay at the hotel that the conference is located. Yes, the price of the room will be more expensive than staying at the budget hotel down the street. However, socializing with potential customers is more important than saving a couple bucks. The time wasted traveling back and forth along with the price of cab rides is money that should be designated to wine and dine potential customers. Don't let frugal budget saving tactics impend your sales force from doing their job.

8. Shipping - When exhibiting in a larger trade show city you quickly learn about union labor cost. Check with show management or convention business office on having small packages shipped to the facility. Many times you will find a handling fee charged when receiving an item. Most hotels will accept packages without a handling charge

I hope these tips save you money on your next trade show.

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