When to Rent and When to Buy Your Own Displays for Trade Shows: 5 Questions To Ask Yourself

Joining a trade show and getting a display is a huge decision for any business owner, particularly when it comes to deciding whether you should purchase your own displays or rent them for a particular trade show. It is critical to be able to choose wisely for two reasons. First, you should choose correctly in order to maximize your costs and getting the most return on your investment in joining a trade show. Second, choosing the right type of display will ultimately affect the visibility of your booth, which will translate to a good or bad outcome for your business.

If you’re wondering whether you should opt for trade show equipment rental or take the plunge and purchase your own display, here are five important questions that you should ask yourself:

1.      What is My Disposable Budget?

The most critical factor that will ultimately determine whether you purchase your own display or rent will be your budget. Simply put, rental displays are cheaper compared to purchasing custom displays, and it’s not only a question of the actual cost of the displays themselves. You will also need to consider related costs such as transporting the displays, maintenance, and storage.

When you own custom-made trade show displays, the cost of maintaining, repairing, transporting, and storing these displays will place additional costs of around 3-5% of the display’s value. If you have a particularly large and complex display, you may need to add specialized services to keep your display in pristine condition.

When you rent displays, however, you won’t need to worry as much about all of these costs simply because you don’t own the displays outright. In fact, some companies even offer rental bundles that do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to storing, transporting, and maintaining the displays.

2.      How Many Times Will I Participate in A Trade Show?

The bottom line is that the more times you join a trade show, the greater the need for a custom-made display for your booth. If you have a rental booth, you’re going to be stuck with a limited pool of choices to display in your booth and it can be boring and repetitive. However, if you have a custom-made display, you can tweak it according to your needs and be able to offer something fresh and exciting every time you join a trade show. Trade show exhibits thrive on novelty; if you have something new to offer, even returning customers will be incentivized to come back to your booth to see what you are offering.  

3.      Have I Joined A Trade Show Before with This Particular Display (Or Something Similar)?

Aside from gaining visibility and getting the chance to network with business peers, business owners join trade shows for another critical reason: to test out new business strategies for their companies. If you are in the process of trying out new strategies, the better option would be for you to tent. After all, you can’t test out a new strategy if you’re going to use an old exhibit, even if it’s one that you’re going to tweak or refurbish.  However, if you’ve already found a business formula that works for you, you can opt to purchase a custom display that highlights the strengths of your business model.

4.      Which Trade Shows Will I Join?

Location and timing are important when you want to join multiple trade shows. If you’re going to join multiple trade shows in geographical locations that are relatively close to each other or will be held one after the other, renting your displays might be the more cost-effective option since you won’t have to worry about transporting and storing the displays between shows. However, if you’re planning to only join bigger trade shows, you want to opt for a custom-made display that will make your booth stand out among your competitors.

5.      What Do I Want to Accomplish?

Finally, the last question that you want to ask yourself is what goals you want to accomplish by joining a trade show. Are you looking to launch a new product for your business? Then you should consider getting a custom-made display that highlights your new message. Do you want to simply network and get the word out regarding your brand? There are many rental displays that you can use that will do the job well. You simply need to boost your business brand by adding your personal touches such as giving freebies with your company name or by creating a mailing list composed of the people who drop by your booth.