Is your show truly relevant to your target exhibitors? Do they look to you to "make a market" for their industry? In this time of extreme cost cutting, here are some tips for you:
Cut your direct mail budget by 20%. Mail to fewer but more qualified prospects and also reduce the size/cost of the pieces.
Don’t over decorate. Even if decoration is provided "free" by your contractor, trade this open checkbook for something more valuable – such as free or discounted I&D for sponsorships sold as a lump sum.
Install only half the telephone lines that are requested by your staff. Have only one unlimited toll line and put it in your locked show office.
Dial down the quality for the reception – such as providing wine/beer/snacks rather than open bar/shrimp.
Finally, ask "is this really necessary?" before increasing a budgeted item