I have heard many complain about the cost of going to a motorcycle show as a spectator. By the time you pay $15 or so for parking, add another 14-15 for admission, buy an over priced burger or hot dog and a bottle of something to wash it down with, your pocket feels like a tornado went through it.

I agree that it is expensive to attend a motorcycle show, but think of being a vendor!

Depending on your business needs, your 10 x 10 booth can range from $275 for non profits to $1295 for a business that sells product. (Depending on the show)

Then if you need to add any extras to that booth you are going to pay!
These are the discounted rates for ordering 14 days BEFORE a show:

Electrical - depending on service need: $108- $331

Need internet access to run your booth? WIRELESS - 3 day event - $252.45/connection

Then there's parking - depending on the venue - vendors generally don't get a break and when they do they are pretty small. Fuel is another expense that has to be factored in to the cost of attending a trade show.

Let's talk show insurance - if you don't have a business liability policy, you will end up paying the show company provider and average of $130 per show for insurance!

You have to account for wages for employees and even if volunteers are helping you out - there is the cost of feeding people!

To attend one show for three days it can cost a small business anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000

Here in Canada, we all want and in most cases need a really good wage to keep body and soul together and so the costs of everything here are high.

It's a trade off, really.

When you look at that simple fact and then factor in that the show staff need to be paid, the entertainment needs to be paid not to mention venue rental, and the fact that the show needs to generate a profit it's no wonder booth prices are where they are at.

As vendors - be you a riding club, non profit or a business only you can decide if the expense is worth the return.

You need to make those decisions like every other business decision.
You need to have a plan and a goal. What do you want to see the show generate?
Is it 10 new members? Is it 500 units sold?  Is it awareness?

What intangible benefits are there? Are there other things like alliances you want to form that a trade show environment can offer?

Then you have to evaluate your costs:

Lets say you are a riding club, a booth costs $275 + $130 for insurance.  You have no wages because you all volunteer and every individual bears their own cost of support.

You set a goal of signing up 10 new members and forming an alliance with two riding clubs and three or four businesses.

At $405 for the booth alone, the cost of acquisition for 10 members is $40 each.
If you are successful in finding the two alliances from riding clubs that you were looking for and you signed up one business to support you the cost of acquisition goes down to $23 each.

This figure does not take into account the marketing materials, banners, business cards or anything else that it takes to run your booth.

If you include the intangible of branding your business or riding club into the benefits of attending, and the show you attend generates 30,000 visitors over the course of three days, and you can talk to 300 people a day...

If 1/3 of the people who attend the show walk by your booth then 10,000 people have seen your logo and perhaps your message if it is on your banner.

Trade Shows can prove to be a very valuable method of exposure for your group and business, but a lot of the value has to be determined by your goals, your budget and the show's ability to generate the kind of visitors you are hoping to attract.

Like every major decision in your riding club and or small business - only you can decide if attending a show makes sense or not!

Belt Drive Betty Media will have representation at all 5 Canadian motorcycle shows in January.

Lou DeVuono of the Heroes Highway Ride & Rally & Kick Stands Up on RealityRadio 101 will be manning our booths at both the Toronto International Super Show January 4-5-6 and again in Ottawa at the Ottawa International Show January 11-12-13

He will have our new line of teeshirts and subscription/renewals for the Busted Knuckle Chronicles available and - he will also have a card that offers you three Apps for your cell phone!

The App GIVEAWAYS are:

The Canadian Motorcycle Events App - this app allows you to have and share event information from right across Canada on your phone and the information is broken down by province for ease of use!

The Busted Knuckle Chronicles App: This app is the scaled down version of our community newspaper!
It features information on the contributors to the newspaper, the feature stories from the paper, jokes, classifieds and my blog.

The third and final App is the Black Book of Rider Friendly Businesses:
It features the mobile version of our web based business directory, all of the touring maps that are in the printed version of the book, all of the businesses that partner on the touring maps, information on special services and discounts from our partners and information on the Canadian Riders Support network, the Never Ride Alone Program and our North American Toll Free support number.

I will be at the Calgary Motorcycle Show, January 4-5-6, the Edmonton Motorcycle Show, January 11-12-13 and the Vancouver Motorcycle Show, January 17-18-19-20.

I will have all of the same things avaialbe in our booth - our new tee shirt line, the Free App giveaways and more!

We are looking forward to seeing you out there in January!!!!!

I leave you with a few funnies shared with me by friends on Facebook and by email:

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

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