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7 Common Misconceptions about Trade Show Rentals

To rent or not to rent, that’s the question. Trade shows are pricey as it is, so it is important to save money wherever possible. So, what is most cost effective for your business, to buy a custom build exhibit or consider a trade show booth rental?

There are several myths regarding booth rentals, and on this post we want to set the record straight.

  1. Renting Is Too Expensive
    Many think that renting exhibits is more expensive. After all, if you buy an exhibit, there is an initial expense, but then you have it forever, right? So eventually you don’t have to pay anymore. And isn’t not paying cheaper than paying?
    The truth is that exhibits require maintenance, refurbishing, updating, and so on. Not to mention that you would be in charge of shipping expenses and setting up. Renting can represent a savings of 75% over purchasing!
  2. Limited options
    Renting through a company that has a large selection exhibits, combined with their ability to modify and customize their exhibits to your needs, the sky’s the limit! Companies that rent booths usually change the design for each show so they always appear fresh and current.
  3. Low quality / Used and Abused
    A huge part of a trade show rental company’s job is to maintain their exhibits and to make sure that their inventory looks like new. Remember, the goal is to entice a client to rent more because they are delighted with the results (leads and sales) generated from the rental booth… not to have the client never come back because it looked bad.
  4. No custom designs
    Trade show booth rental companies that have integrated graphic design and production can create a custom trade show display with no issues of size, file preparation, or additional set-up fees. In fact, a serious rental company shouldn’t have two booths that look alike!
  5. Everybody will know it’s a rented booth
    According to Exhibitor Magazine, a company’s owned exhibit is, in average, four years old, with many being much older than that. If that company did just a couple of shows a year, that would represent 8 shows for that same exhibit! Talk about used and abused!
    The truth is that many “Best of Show” booths are rentals. The award will hardly go to the “same old booth” that a company brings year after year.
  6.  If I do shows frequently, it will be too pricey to rent
    If you exhibit frequently, your trade show booths will require regular maintenance, which can be costly. Also, if you want to attend to shows that overlap in time, you will need to own more than one exhibit, doubling your cost right there. And don’t forget that while the exhibit is not being used—which will be most of the time!—,you will have to pay for storage and mandatory “pull and prep” fees.
  7. I will have to plan very far ahead to make sure my exhibit will be ready on time
    A good rental company will have everything needed to make a great exhibit in no time: graphic design teams, printing resources, builders, installers, etc. Besides, since these companies can ship and set up the exhibits for you, getting your booth ready will take the fraction that it would take you to build your own.


Do you have more questions about getting your custom trade show display experience off to a good start? Download our free Trade Show Budget Checklist, a great resource to give you a better idea of what you need to consider during the planning stage.

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