Don't select a future location for your show until you do a P&L pro forma for each competing site. Consider more than just the per-square-foot rental rate. Ask profit related questions, including: What else is included in the rental rate (meeting rooms, ballroom, etc.)? Can I use our regular contractors (what exclusives are there)? Does the facility charge a fee for sponsorships (and specify what they define as a sponsorship)? Will I need to bus attendees? What incentives are the hotels offering?
One intangible to consider: what effect will the city have on attendance (and thus exhibit revenue)? Does the city have unique attractions? Be sure there is a high percentage of potential attendees within a drive-in radius. Plus, check for competing shows within two months of your dates. Saving $300,000 on facility costs but losing $500,000 on attendee fees and exhibit revenue violates the Quality Profits concept (see Tip #1).