Trade show exhibit booth choices: buy or rent?

Trade show exhibit booth choices: buy or rent?

To Buy Or To Rent Your Trade Show Exhibit Booth: That Is The Question

The writing is on the wall. Your company is painfully aware that your trade show exhibit booth has become obsolete. The laminate is peeling, the graphics are outdated, and the colour scheme makes you cringe. Here’s a tough question: if refurbishment is not an option, do you buy or rent a new trade show exhibit booth?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Although trade show exhibit booth rentals used to be considered taboo, today’s rentals warrant consideration as a sophisticated and cost-effective display option. Some large companies don’t want fixed assets taking up valuable space in their warehouse, or can’t be bothered with the hassle of insuring and maintaining a display. However, many companies will hang onto their trade show exhibit booths for more than 5 years as an investment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both buying and renting a trade show exhibit booth. The following two-step process will help your company to decide whether purchasing or renting is right for you.

Step One – Conduct A Financial Analysis

  • There are more costs to exhibit ownership than simply the initial purchase price, including: depreciation expense, storage costs, insurance payments, maintenance costs and refurbishment , and final disposal fees
  • Renting, on the other hand, consists solely of the rental fees for the display booth and associated hardware
  • How many trade shows do you plan to attend each year?
  • How does your trade show exhibit fit into your company’s marketing and sales objectives and budget?
  • Have you identified your short-term and/or long-term needs?

Step Two – Examine Your Needs

Consider whether buying or renting offers the greatest benefit to your company’s exhibiting needs by examining the following qualitative and quantitative factors:

Making Your Mark

  • To buy means that every detail can be customized to your specifications, while renting may fail to meet some of your criteria or require adaptation
  • The exhibit is always available to you when you purchase, but may be rented by another company at an inopportune time
  • Buyers must assume transportation costs; in contrast, renters may be able to reduce shipping costs by renting an exhibit in their destination location
  • Renters can avoid the storage, refurbishment, disposal and inventory management costs borne by purchasers
  • Buyers can reuse headers and graphics, while renters may have to adapt from show to show

Short-Term Versus Long-Term Goals

  • Purchasers gain a consistent booth structure for at least 5 years, which is unavailable to renters
  • Renters generally have limited-use applications, while buying is a good option if you exhibit at several trade shows
  • Buyers cannot take advantage of unique strategies at selected shows, while renters can reap the benefits of selected markets

Budget Considerations

  • A display expenditure can remain part of the budget over several years; renting, in contrast, applies to one budget year only
  • A smaller initial investment is required for renters, while buyers make a considerably larger investment
  • Renting avoids the capital funding process, unlike buying
  • Buyers witness a depreciation of their purchase, unlike renters
  • A large purchase such as an exhibit may preclude buyers from participating in other shows or other opportunities, while renters can reap the benefits of other prospects

Appearances Are Important

  • Booth rentals can be designed to accommodate unusual space configurations, while purchased displays are more rigid
  • Buyers can integrate their graphics directly into the design for continued use, while renters may not be able to reuse their graphics
  • Renters may require significant modifications to accomplish their desired appearance, while buyers can produce a custom look from the outset

Buying and renting both remain viable options in today’s trade show environment. Use the two-step process outlined above to thoroughly assess your company’s trade show exhibit booth needs, and then act accordingly. With careful planning your company can replace that archaic eyesore with a new, attention-grabbing display.