A Q&A on Renting Vs. Buying
The conversation of whether to rent or buy is a constant in the trade show industry. It’s an on-going dialogue because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. We are here to guide our clients through the most practical solution for their unique needs. See below for the most common questions we get when talking with our clients about renting a booth versus purchasing a custom exhibit.
My company is new to exhibiting. What’s the least risky investment, renting or buying an exhibit?
If you’re testing the waters and are unsure if tradeshow marketing makes sense for your business, we recommend renting a booth for the first event. In general, rental components are less expensive than custom built ones and require a smaller up-front investment. Many of our clients choose to rent the basic booth architecture and then customize the accessories, like counter tops, product displays, flooring, etc., to meet their exact design specifications. It’s a win-win!
My company is vetted in exhibiting, but has only used out-of-the-box portable booths. What’s the next step that keeps our budget but also our growing brand presence in mind?
If your company is at transition point, renting is a great option. Renting a trade show exhibit increases flexibility. You’re not committing, both financially and emotionally, to a full custom exhibit. Instead, with renting a booth, you have the ability to switch out aspects of the design for each show. Especially if you’ve only exhibited in small, inline booths and are expanding to a 20×20 island, it may take you a few shows to get it right. For instance, you might realize you could benefit from a larger storage closet or an extra reception counter. With renting, we can easily add or subtract elements to fit your individual needs.
If my company opts to rent, are we going to look like every other exhibitor on the show floor?
Definitely not! Our main goal is to make you shine on the show floor. We customize your rental display to your exact specifications. Our rental systems have near infinite configurations and our exhibit designers will use every bit of their creativity to build an expressive space. Also, you always direct the graphics and messaging. Think of a rental exhibit as a blank canvas and your configuration and branding help show off your unique position in the marketplace.
We only exhibit at two trade shows per year. Plus our booth size changes between the two. Do we need two custom booths for each show or does it make more sense to rent?
A custom booth is not necessarily the best solution for every client. We work with you to make sure you get the right fit for your budget and aesthetic. However, we generally advise if you know you’ll be exhibiting at fewer than three shows per year, renting is probably the right call. For one, you’ll save on maintenance and inspection fees as well as storage and disposal costs. Plus with renting we can easily build modularity into the initial design concept, meaning your booth can reconfigure to multiple layouts and size constraints. Or, if the shows are overlapping, then rental is a great solution to fulfill the needs of the second event.
If we opt to rent, will your other clients throughout the year use our booth components?
Our rental services operate on a first come, first serve basis, so it’s important to reserve the inventory well in advanced of your show dates. It’s important to also be aware that, although we do everything in our power to minimize damage, rental components are not brand new. Expect to see some wear and tear.