Rental vs. Purchase

What's the right choice for your business?

You have options when it comes time to get ready for your next trade show booth. You have the choice of renting your exhibit vs. purchasing. However, it can be difficult to know whether purchasing a booth or renting one is going to best suit your business and its trade show schedule/planning. The following information should help you decide which is the right way to go.

The Advantages of Renting Your Trade Show Exhibit

Cost Savings: When you rent your exhibit the price you agree to pay is a turn-key price and covers all of the booth components and services needed (freight, I&D, show form submissions, etc), less the drayage fee (material handling) that is charged by the show contractor. If you opt to buy instead of rent, you are then purchasing each item piece by piece which can often cost more in the end. However if you do more than half a dozen trade shows per year and they are mostly the same size with not a lot of changes to configuration or design, then it may make more sense to own your booth. When you rent your exhibit, you have more flexibility in design each time you exhibit AND you’re not tied to the exhibit (with needs for storage, repairs, etc), however depending on how detailed each new design is, the operating costs (freight, I&D, drayage, etc) may outweigh the operating costs of a booth that was purchased, reconfigured and re-outfitted with new graphics.

Meeting the Criteria:
As bonafide exhibit builders and trade show display manufacturers, We are well informed as to what the standard rules and regulations are for trade shows when it comes to building exhibits. Based on this, all rental options meet the required standards. If these change then the rental exhibits that become available also change in order to comply with current regulations.

Mitigating the Legal Risks:
There are a lot of moving parts to a trade show set up. When you rent, you have no liability and don’t have to worry about being responsible for anything besides drayage. In a turn-key rental from ABEX EXHIBITS, all you have to do is show up to the show and worry about your staff being ready.

Branding Updates:
It is not unusual for a company to have rebranding plans for the foreseeable future. They can use a rental booth as a “temporary booth solution” until they’re ready for the permanent rebranding.

It is not uncommon for the same people to attend the same trade shows on a regular basis. With a rental booth it allows the company to create a new presentation each year by changing floor plans. The other advantage is if you attend a lot of different trade shows in various locations, the floor plans can vary. There are plenty of options available for you to choose from when you rent your booth. You won’t have any problems finding the exact layout that is going to be compatible with the floor plan requirements of every show you attend.

Flexibility: With the cost effectiveness that comes with trade show rentals, it allows a Company to attend more than one trade show at a time. It eliminates the difficult choice of which trade show to attend. Renting two or more trade show booths is an easy process.

The Disadvantages to Trade Show Rentals

Nothing is perfect and there are a few minor downsides to renting your trade show exhibit.

Limited Customization: If you are really intent on having your booth permanently customized then it means you will have to commission the exhibit house to design your booth specifically for you. There are limitations as to the customization that can be done with rental booths. However, many that rent their trade show booths are very successful at effectively making their presentation look unique and customized with the items they choose to display.

Limitations: Trade show booths are typically designed from pre-made frame components. Sometimes when a client has a specific idea as to how they want their display to look it may not be totally possible. Their requirement may create a demand for a specific component that is not currently available. This can happen especially during trade show peak season (fall).

Gently Used: Rental booths are used time and time again and are made from high quality material, sturdy aluminum frames and other well made components. But, over time they do show minor signs of usage (wear and tear). A reputable exhibit house like ABEX will ensure that no matter which rental design you choose, it is going to look flawless because we will refurbish any and all elements whereas new finishing is needed.

The Advantages of Buying Your Trade Show Exhibit

Cost Consistency:
Every company is unique therefore so are their trade show requirements. Some companies have a set roster for the trade show events that they attend each year. They remain consistent with their needs on a yearly basis. In this case buying a trade show booth may be a better option. There is no risk of a trade show booth that they used the year before not being available for the current year.

Increased Cost Reduction:
When budget planning for the trade show, owning the booth is a cost that is eliminated once it has been purchased. A trade show booth purchase also eliminates increased costs. Exhibits are made of different materials and components (aluminum, wood, sintra/pvc, etc) that have fluctuating costs which can rise or decrease in the following year, depending on many factors. Those who own their booth do not have to worry about this as a factor.

Purchasing your booth allows you to make it totally unique based on your wants and needs. Your customized booth design will stand out amongst all other booths at the show and it will have all of the desired functionalities (custom product showcasing solutions, storage, etc).

The Disadvantage of Buying Your Trade Show Exhibit.

The Ongoing Costs:
The rental cost is not something a company has to deal with when the booth is purchased but there are still ongoing costs. These include the cost of having to store the booth when not in use. There are repair and maintenance costs, along with insurance expenses. If the company out grows the display there will be the added costs of having to buy more components in order to expand the booth in a larger configuration. Constant setting up and tearing down of the display soon creates the need for ongoing repairs which can add up over time.

The Initial Expense:
If a company is going to buy their trade show booth then they automatically want to be able to buy the best and customize it exactly the way they want. This can create a need for a substantial outlay of cash. Many smaller companies that are starting out cannot afford this initial expense.

Consistency or Change: Buying a trade show booth means the company is going to have a consistent trade show look year after year. In some cases this can be a positive feature for branding. But, in other cases it can make the company look outdated and not able to keep up with trends and changes. How this is going to affect the company is totally dependent of the type of target market the company caters to.

The Best Choice: The best choice when it comes to your trade show booth is the one that is going to serve your company the best. You have set your expectations for the trade show efforts you are expending. Your booth is going to be an important component of this. You need to determine whether a rental booth or a purchased booth is going to best meet those needs not only now but in the future.

The Right Choice: To help you make the right choice carefully review the advantages and disadvantages to either renting or buying a booth. The points that are most applicable to your business needs will help you determine which is the right choice for you.

Is there only one choice?

Fortunately it doesn’t come down to having to decide only on buying or renting one exhibit. You can have the best of both worlds. If you attend a variety of trade shows then one or the other may not meet your needs entirely.

There is also the option of purchasing one main booth to use at trade shows that you consistently attend each year. The one where you know a customized and specific size of booth is going to work best for you. Then when the opportunity arises that you can attend other trade shows at the same time, or you have a need for a different type of booth you can also invest in a rental for the other shows.

This is cost effective because it gives you options. It allows you to specifically target the attendees at any specific trade show more effectively.

Talk to us here at Abex for a program that will allow you to meet all of your trade show needs no matter whether it is with a booth rental, booth purchase or both.