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Have You Asked Yourself These Questions When Deciding Between Renting or Buying Your Exhibit?

May 20, 2019

A custom booth and all of the expenses that come with it like storage and maintenance can add up quickly. So, does it make more sense to just rent your booth property? It all depends on your company’s circumstances! Below, we’ll help you weigh your options to decide if one or the other might be a better alternative for you.

How many trade shows do you attend per year?

If you’re just getting your feet wet in trade shows or you only tend to do one or two shows a year, then renting would likely be the most cost-effective option for you. You’ll reap the benefits of a standout, high-quality booth without having to pay what you would if you owned it. Conserving your company’s marketing resources, in this case, will give you more flexibility to incorporate interactive activities or giveaways into your booth. However, the rule of thumb is that if you rent the same booth three times, you may as well have bought the exhibit.

If you attend many shows each year, buying is the clear choice. If you do one or two shows, opt to rent!

Are your exhibiting needs constant or always varying?

If your messaging and target audience at each show stays the same, then you won’t have much of a need for changing up your booth. Buying a booth will allow you to use that same booth property over and over, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

If the size of your booth space changes from show to show, you change your messaging up often for different campaigns or new products, or you target multiple audiences at different shows, then renting may be right for you. If these needs are always changing, then it’s likely that your booth design is too (or it should be). Having the flexibility to change things up every couple shows rather than being stuck with the same design will likely help you be more effective with your changing needs and goals.


Do you have a tried-and-true marketing plan?

If you’ve experimented with different booth designs and details and you’ve found a great process for generating a high ROI, then buying a booth that incorporates those things consistently at shows makes a lot of sense.

If you’re not so sure that what you’re doing is being as effective as it could be and you’re often trying new branding concepts, then you may want to consider renting. Evaluating your results from show to show with different booth designs and layouts will give you an answer to what provides the best outcome and gives insight into what you should purchase down the road.

Have you taken additional expenses into consideration?

Owning booth property also comes with many added expenses that you need to take into consideration. Just to name a few, storing your exhibit when it’s not in use, shipping, repairs, refurbishments and disposing of the display once it’s seen its last day.

When renting a trade show booth, you will dodge most of these costs as the property is returned to a design house after the show. The only cost you will need to worry about is the initial shipping costs from production and then back after the show.

Don’t let these costs scare you away from purchasing. Experienced trade show companies will work with you to create the best storage plan. It will also minimize shipping costs when you’re able to store your display near the city you tend to exhibit in. Skyline has storage sites around the country in major trade show cities, minimizing those shipping fees for you.

How big are you going with your display?

If you’re in need of a smaller display, renting will likely be most cost-effective. Obviously less material means lower prices.

If you’re expanding from previous rentals you’ve had in the past, it becomes more economical to buy as renting prices start to skyrocket. Having a larger exhibit gives you the option to make it modular – allowing you to create smaller exhibits out of it for different shows but keeping the same branded look and consistency for recognition.

Whether you’ve decided that you’re renting or buying, or you still need some help deciding, Skyline Exhibits can help you navigate. We’ll take time to understand your company’s needs, create appropriate goals for your trade show marketing and help you execute seamlessly with whatever route you decide to go. Reach out today if you’d like to get started. 


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