Exhibit Rental vs. Purchase

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The Exhibit Booth Rental Debate Continues

Renting a trade show exhibit might seem like throwing money away and a little non-committal. You might also compare it to a rock and roll band renting all their instruments and playing a less than fine-tuned show, rather than carrying instruments they are more intimately tied to. The truth is, for many companies, looking into an exhibit booth rental makes all the sense in the world.  With boundless design options and a variety of competitive solutions out there, renting may become your best option. After all, a trade show exhibit is one of the most powerful tools a company has to create a temporary but persuasive embodiment of the best it has to offer.

Perhaps that’s why exhibits have traditionally been purchased in North America rather than rented. However, as companies have grown more sophisticated in their exhibiting strategies and rental inventories are more plentiful, it is now possible to find an exhibit booth rental in a wide range of styles and quality. This is why any company evaluating trade show displays should consider both rental and purchase options.

Design Considerations

Budget and floor space are the only restrictions a company has when purchasing and designing trade show displays. There are an array of designs, materials, shapes, and functions available when purchasing an exhibit and any number of professional exhibit companies to design and construct it.

There are also a variety of exhibit booth rental options available, although not all exhibit companies offer rentals. Many companies will create “turn-key” custom rental solutions. Recent trends indicate that the “your name here” trade show exhibit booth rentals are going by the way-side for more customized solutions at rental rates.

The Budget

Given the cost of purchasing, storing, moving and setting up a display, renting has a lower upfront cost. However, long-term use over many shows may nullify those upfront savings.  A lease-to-purchase option can also be a consideration if the exhibit booth rental supplier offers such services.

Another point to consider is the financial implications of renting versus buying. Purchase of a display is a capital expenditure, which can be amortized over an extended period. Renting is considered a one-time expense and is not amortized. The rental option has become widely popular over the last 24 months due to company restrictions of capital purchases due to cash flow constraints.

Flexibility Or Commitment

Generally speaking, exhibit booth rentals make sense in situations where the exhibitor needs flexibility or might have scheduling conflicts. For example, renting is a good choice for a company that rarely participates in shows or is unsure if exhibiting will reap a return on investment. A company can make a more informed decision by renting and experimenting before making a commitment.

Another useful exhibit booth rental scenario occurs when a company launches a new product. Trade show displays specific to a new product can be rented without a purchasing commitment.

There are also situations where a company that owns trade show displays will rent something more elaborate for a one-time need. Perhaps to gain prominence in a new market or unveil a new product, a company will host a large, island exhibit. Even if the company owns its own inline display, they will rent a custom installation for that specific event.

buy or rent

There is something to be said for consistency in trade show displays. Keeping a consistent look and feel is much easier with a purchased display. For a company with a busy trade show calendar, it may be challenging to effectively brand and execute an exhibit booth rental solution without an up front plan of attack.

Ultimately the decision on whether to rent or buy is bigger than the price tag. Both have their place in the world of trade show exhibits and each can fit well into different scenarios.

Exhibit Booth Rental Gallery

Take a look at just a portion of our available rental properties and rental concepts at the Blazer Exhibits Rental Gallery.

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