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Trade Show Exhibits: 5 Reasons to Rent or Own


Committing to exhibiting at a trade show is a big investment and so is buying an exhibit display itself. Businesses have to budget for show costs that can include travel and lodging as well as the costs of a display. When a business makes that kind of a financial commitment it’s hoping to make most of that money back, hopefully all of it. That’s why every business must debate the pros and cons of renting a trade show exhibit or purchasing their own.

Reasons You Should Own

1 – Probably the easiest way to make the decision on this subject is determine the frequency in which a company is going to be exhibiting at trade shows. If only one or two shows per year fit into the budget and business plans, renting is an option worth discussing. If it’s three, four or more, owning a trade show booth is going to be the more budget-saving option. The cost of renting an exhibit for four or five shows a year is more than likely to be more expensive than the one-time cost of owning an exhibit.

2 – Control over the customization is a nice peace of mind to have. Trade show exhibits are significant investment’s and if trade shows are a big part of the company’s marketing plan, total control over the design or that exhibit can be quite valuable.

3 – Trade shows are valuable for more reasons than just picking up new sales leads. They’re also a time for companies to further their brand message and establish brand recognition. If a company has a particularly strong brand in a specific industry in which it will be exhibiting at trade shows in and the marketing message is always the same, there’s no reason to rent an exhibit over and over again.

4 – Owning trade show exhibit guarantees availability along with the ability to ship it wherever at any time. Renting a structure, purchasing the graphics for it and having it shipped on time will require a lot of planning ahead. Planning ahead isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s something any trade show veteran does anyway, but owning the exhibit takes a bit of hassle out of the planning stage and might allow the booth staff to focus more on the details of the presentation, speech or demonstration at the show.

5 – No matter how much money is spent on a display, constant set up and tear down will cause wear and tear over time. That’s just a fact of any product. On one hand, when renting an exhibit, any maintenance and repair costs might be the responsibility of the rental company. However, those repairs and other needs are possibly up to that company. Remember, when renting a trade show exhibit structure, multiple businesses have probably used it and wear and tear could show.

Why You Should Rent

1 – Aside from the obvious counterpoint about only attending one or two trade shows a year, if this is a company’s first time exhibiting at a trade show, renting is a very viable option. Part of planning to exhibit at a trade show means having an idea its costs and how it fits into the budget. However, there can be some unknowns and as a first time exhibitor, if the cost isn’t accurately estimated and there is no assurance of a ROI from exhibiting, renting is the safer option.

2 – Renting a trade show exhibit means not having to pay for storage costs of that exhibit. In some cases (depending on who the rental company), shipping is even included. Some companies simply don’t have the space to store large displays and don’t want to pay the cost or storage while not in use. That’s one, potentially two things to not have to budget for.

3 – In all likelihood, frequently renting exhibits is going to cost a lot more than owning one. If the budget allows and there’s potential for a good ROI, renting allows companies to change the look of their exhibits at every show. Marketing messages and graphics can be tailored to individual shows as well.

4 – If there are two trade shows a company wants to attend they are going on at the same time or close enough together that the logistics are going to be pretty tricky to figure out, renting an exhibit means being able to be at both shows, whether that’s sending an exhibit the company already owns to one and renting for both shows to save the hassle of deciding which goes where.

5 – Not every trade show floor design or booth space is exactly the same. Booth size and space vary from show to show or venue to venue. The size of an owned exhibit dictates what size booth space will have to be purchased. That may mean paying more for a booth space or missing a show all together. Renting an exhibit gives companies flexibility in size to fit any show or booth space.