When it comes to trade show booths, to rent or not to rent is the question that can perplex many an exhibitor.
The industry rule of thumb is that if you’re going to use the same trade show exhibit three times, you should purchase it instead of renting.
If you only want a trade show booth for one or two appearances, renting is often the best way to go.
For companies that have the choice of renting vs. buying trade show exhibits, there are many solid and sound reasons to rent rather than make a purchase. According to Candy Adams, a San Diego-based; independent; exhibit-management consultant, trainer, speaker, and writer known as The Booth Mom®, there are compelling reasons why companies rent trade show exhibits:
• Lack of capital budget to replace or refurbish outdated exhibit properties
• First-time exhibitors and start-up companies that aren’t ready to make capital outlays until they’re more financially established – The executives of an IPO often want as few capital assets on their balance sheet as possible.
• Wanting to look larger and more impressive than the capital budget allows
• Inadequate inventory of custom trade show exhibit properties to cover conflicting show schedules; for example, back-to-back or overlapping trade show dates.
• Different strategic or vertical market segments where a different look and feel is required
• Size requirements – Some trade shows have smaller trade show booth size requirements to “level the playing field,” and some trade shows are based on sponsorship levels where the more you give, the larger trade show booth size allotment you have.
• Different trade show booth footprints requiring a larger or smaller exhibit
• A try-before-you-buy option before purchasing a used trade show exhibit to be sure it works, with a portion of the rental cost applied to the purchase
• International exhibitors coming to the U.S. to avoid the overseas shipping charges
Custom and modular trade show display rentals are about one-third the cost of the purchase of a trade show exhibit, and the options are many. Trade show booth rentals range from elaborate double-decker island exhibits occupying many thousands of square feet and costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to a trade show pop-up exhibit costing a few hundred dollars.
When you rent, you can save money not only on the exhibit, but also on storage and insurance fees, repair and refurbishment, and ultimately disposal—and have potential savings in transportation, material handling, and installation and dismantle, depending on the trade show booth properties you rent.
Renting will also save you not only on trade show construction costs, but also the expense of warehousing your display after the show is over.