Historically, the larger well-managed shows have generated gross profit margins in the 40 to 60% range. Just about every show of a decent size (say 30,000 nsf) made at least 30%. These figures will likely drop by 10-20%+ due to:
Exhibitors cutting back on (or even eliminating) floor space rental and sponsorships.
Fewer paid conference attendees.
Higher costs such as attendance promotion, insurance, security, etc.
Also, we will no longer enjoy fabulous cash flow because many exhibitors will not commit to (nor pay for) their space until the last minute, say 90 days out. They will learn that they can hold off making a deposit and still be able to participate in the show.
We suggest that you:
Do not set your budgets based on the old glory days. Be realistic and don't expect to get blood from a stone.
Plan out your cash flow carefully and arrange for financing, if necessary.
Look for innovative ways to generate more revenues/reduce expenses/run more efficiently. (More on this in future Tips).