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· Stanier's Love Child
622 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am currently exhibition manager at Kettering & District Model Railway Society.

We have just had our second exhibtion under my watch with a footfall of around 350.

A disappointing elements was the contributions of our trade stands.

Last year their voulntary contributions for traders average at £70 per trader for the one day show. However, this year it was around £40 despite a higher attendance. One also refused to pay a contribution!

So, I want to be able to budget more sensibly giving a charge tariff to ensure a reasonable income.

Can I enquire how you allocate trade stand space and 'hire fees' for one day, either by footage or some other formula! Should I demand a deposit?

What would you consider a reasonable trader to layout ratio, this year we at 5 trade stands to 22 exhibitor stands?

Kind Regards,

Trevor Powell

· Just another modeller
9,967 Posts
*** In a management sense, its a commercial proposition.

You must first cost the event appropriately.

Include everything down to the biscuits and tea at the management meetings for the event.
* Hall costs * Resource and equipment costs * Exhibitor costs * Advertising / promotion costs * Insurance costs (public liability and exhibitor cover?) * Any other costs.

If you have been thorough, you can at last understand the level of income needed to break even or make profit, which lets you plan the next step. Only then can you consider / decide how many vendors vs exhibitors, how much to charge, how to charge. (After all, its not how much you should charge, but how much do you need to charge!)

Consider charges and income planned from attendants (make an attendant number target too - if you do not do that then you have NO valid measure for income really).
You must then make a concrete TARGET for what to do and expend in order to ensure their attendance accordingly

Anyway, to summarise....
Measure costs carefully, forget none and create a proper spending budget, income plan and activity plan. A management plan / regular meeting schedule to make sure its all kept too is also needed of course.

Manage every subsequent decision, target a result for every effort and demand a proper "cost vs return" committment from every expense/concession/contributor/helper as you go. Do not compromise for friends/members/anyone.

Also... your other question.
Yes, you should charge all vendors a deposit and insist on a final payment before the event starts. (If the event venue does not have insurance cover, then you may also be wise to insist on valid event insurance for each vendor).

Good luck

· Chief Nut Maker
658 Posts
As an attendee of such exhibitions part of the reason I go is for the trade stands as it lets me view a number of traders without additional travelling expenses, so the more traders the better for me, obviously the layouts are an important part as well.

My personal view is that you try to give the trade stands the best value (cheapest) cost that you can so as to encourage more of them to turn up, which may hopefully also increase your general footfall.

I am local being at Market Harborough but did not attend as the number of trade stands did not attract me to this exhibition.

· Premium Member
6,634 Posts
I did these for a few years and paid £20 for a table approximately 4 foot by 2 foot and I would take 2 of them.

Trouble here is what the trader can make, no good leaving him with no profit, so a say £120 loco retail at the scousers shop cannot be sold secondhand for more! take out the VAT element so that's £100 then discount for secondhand and the profit is maybe £20, so he needs to sell quite a few, also he has travel costs and cups of tea etc, you are better starting as cheap as you can to get the traders interested, as above they will not pay £70 if they only made £30 as they may have bought the stock from others in the first place..

Another comment on the above the above retailer can have really good bargains from time to time and I would far rather buy a new one than a secondhand loco and no trader can compete on level terms with such tremendous bargains. Why I gave up - not worth the effort in the end.
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