Even with the prospects of new business, trade shows can be a drastic drain on the pocketbook. Here's a tip on how to save a few dollars during a trade show.
Often times the major publications will push exhibitors hard to place a print ad in the publication. Their selling theory: "It's the biggest issue of the year; everyone will be in it." And that might be a reason not to be in it. Rather than advertise will everyone else and risk getting lost in the crowd, next time try a direct mail piece.
Take your ad and mail it to the prospects you expect to visit the show. Or create a specific mailing piece that tells them what new products or services will be exhibited in your booth. Invite them to stop by your booth and see for themselves. If your mailing list is current and accurate, you have just used a rifle instead of a shotgun to hit your target. It will be less expensive (depending on how large your mailing list is) and much more cost effective. Save your advertising dollars for an issue of the publication when your message has a better chance of being seen.