Rule of Thumb: Exhibitor Costs

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To follow are a list of industry averages that may help you in creating your next budget or explaining to your CFO why exhibiting is not cheap. The breakdowns are supplied by 2011 Economic Survey that was conducted by the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association

Labor Unions:

To estimate the added cost of exhibiting in major cities with strong unions, draw an imaginary line across the United States between San Francisco and Washington, DC.   Add 25% to your total budget for these two cities and all other major cities North of that line.

 

Average Exhibit-House Markups:

According to the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association’s 2011 Economic Survey, average exhibit-house markups range from 25% to 91%.

Raw Materials used in construction/fabrication                         91%

Subcontracted materials and special purchases                          57%

Subcontracted labor                                                                                50%

Transportation Costs                                                                              26%

Show Services                                                                                            25%

Installation-and-dismantle labor                                                     28%

(Source: Exhibit Designers& Producers Association 2011 Economic Survey).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Labor Rates:

 

Drayage (general labor)           Electrician                                             Rigger                                 

per hour $85.50                           per hour $92.94                          per hour $90.02                    

Overtime: $130.75                         Overtime: $157.84                              Overtime: $136.19                       

Sunday: $137.79                               Sunday: $158.95                                  Sunday: $144.47                            

 

Decorator                                                   Forklift                                           Security Guard                          

per hour $86.98                        $171.38 to $239.89                                   (unarmed)                             

Overtime: $134.93                    Overtime: $242.68-$330.74                        per hour $65.36                          

Sunday: $131.17                         Sunday: $259.45-$349.17        

 

Audiovisual Labor                             Carpenter                                      Booth Cleaning

(delivery, setup, pickup)           per hour $85.73                             (daily vacuuming)

per hour $65.36                              Overtime: $128.58                            per square foot $0.44

                                                                     Sunday: $137.75

(Source: 2011 Trade Show Labor Rate Bench-marking Survey, RED 7 Media, in Association

with the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) and The Exhibit Designers & Producers Association (EDPA)).

 

Exhibit House Charges:

Construction/ Fabrication                        Engineering                           Exhibit Design                      

labor (hourly)                                                          $89.58                                            $100.46                                

$87.46

 

Graphic Design (hourly)

$99.16

 

Coordination of Show Services and Logistics                                            Field Supervision

(hourly) $72.44                                                                                                                    (hourly) 81.64

(per show) $716.83                                                                                                      (overtime hourly) $118.45

 

Project Management                           Prep/handling                                   Field Supervision

(hourly)                                                                (hourly)                                         (weekend hourly) $130.75

$86.60                                                                   $80.43                                                       (daily) $708.99

 


Drayage Rates (per CWT)

Advanced Shipments to general service contractor                                                    $83.51

Crated Shipments to exhibit hall                                                                                     $76.72

Direct, crated with special handling                                                                             $99.78

Direct, uncrated                                                                                                                 $112.19

(Source: 2011 Trade Show Labor Rate Bench-marking Survey, RED-7 Media, in Association

with the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) and the Exhibit Designers & Producers Association (EDPA)).

 

Custom Exhibit Costs

According to the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA), current custom exhibit costs average between $144 and $160 per square foot.

Inline: $144/square foot ($1444/linear foot)

Single-Tier Island: $160/square foot

(Source: Exhibit Designers & Producers Association 2011 Economic Survey).

 

Exhibit Storage (Warehousing)

Per cubic foot        $0.20

Per square foot     $2.10

(Source: Exhibit  Designers & Producers Association 2011 Economic Survey).

Graphics Production (per square foot)

Inkjet nonbacklit                                  $24.33

Inkjet backlit                                         $28.00

Latex backlit and non-backlit           $24.05

Lamda nonbacklit                               $27.56

Lamda backlit                                      $34.81

UV flatbed printing                            $21.87

Fabric printing                                    $23.01

 

(Source: Exhibit Designers & Producers Association 2011 Economic Survey).