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Why Vancouver Exhibitors Choose Rental Trade Show Displays

April 18, 2019

Why Vancouver Exhibitors Choose Rental Trade Show Displays

Why rent instead of buying your next trade show display?  New data from Skyline reveals exhibitors’ key drivers: maximizing design flexibility and impact while reducing purchasing and ownership costs.

When exhibitors were asked why they prefer to rent their trade show exhibits, the top 4 reasons given were:

  • 60% to reduce costs and increase flexibility
  • 25% to eliminate ownership costs
  • 22% for the flexibility to change design every show
  • 13% to maximize exhibit design for the budget

These survey findings confirm what our clients have told us over the years about why – and when – they prefer to rent their main trade show booths.

When you rent an exhibit, you are not stuck with the same exhibit size and configuration.  You have greater flexibility to change your message, look, and footprint. This is especially important for high-tech companies that often rebrand or revise their marketing messages.

When you rent an exhibit, you avoid the cost of exhibit storage, in & out fees, and refurbishing.  You can also save on shipping and drayage costs if you rent an exhibit housed closer to your show location – especially valuable for Vancouver exhibitors going to shows in Las Vegas, Chicago, Orlando, and other USA exhibit venues.

However, rental isn’t for everyone.  Buying an exhibit makes sense if you are going to use the same design configuration 3 or more times. At that point, the initial higher exhibit purchase cost saves compared to 3 or more exhibit rental costs.

But if you only go to one or two shows with that design, rental allows you to make a bigger impact on the same budget.

For example, when we met with the leaders of Associated Labels and Packaging, they told us what their budget was for buying a new 20 x 20 foot island exhibit. They had set a feasible budget for buying an exhibit of that size.

But in further discussion, they revealed that this new exhibit was for use at only one event a year. In that case, how about considering rental? They liked the idea, because they could have flexibility in changing their future looks, and they would not have ongoing storage costs associated with owning the exhibit. It would be a better use of their budget.

But, most importantly, their goal wasn’t to look average – they wanted to blow the doors off the show.

So, rather than go with a lower budget when shifting from an owned to a rental exhibit, they kept their budget the same, and went for more impact instead.

Their budget would have allowed for a reasonable purchased exhibit, however, their budget made for an incredible, show-stopping rental exhibit.

So, if you are exhibiting in large exhibit spaces, but only once or twice a year, consider renting your exhibit. You can shift budget dollars from paying for ownership and storage, towards a more impressive exhibit structure and graphics.  And make a bigger impact on attendees at your biggest shows. 

Learn more about trade show exhibit rental here.


Welcome to the Big Time. When you exhibit in an island trade show booth, you're making a major marketing commitment. The costs are larger, the expectations higher, and the risks greater. But so is the potential. Click here to request this free 60-page book, and better prepare yourself for the unique challenges faced by island exhibitors like you.

About the Author

Chris Laundy is the President and CMO of Skyline BC, which delivers unique, cost-effective and innovative trade show displays to Vancouver and British Columbia marketers.  Chris’s company helps their clients improve their brand representation and manage the high operational cost of exhibiting in Canada and the United States.  Skyline BC’s website can be found at www.skyline.com/vancouver-bc.

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