To Rent or To Buy an Exhibition Stand?


Participating with a stand at an exhibition is nothing to be treated lightly. How many times did you go over your dedicated exhibition trade budget? It happens to everybody at some point or another. Luckily, there are a few ways in which you are able to stick to your budget and we are going share them with you!

If history has taught us anything is that in time of economical struggle companies tend to cut back on expenses and most of the times the first budget to go is the marketing one. This budget usually includes a budget for participating at trade shows. Luckily, history has also thought us about the effects of not being present anymore at these types of events: your competition has a clear path to winning your clients. So, for the companies that have taken this path, the cut in the budget actually did not bring any benefits but actually it triggered a chain of events: clients were lost, more marketing budgets were cut, the company’s presence in the public space began to be smaller and smaller until the company disappeared.

What lesson should we take from these events? Having a strong and steady presence in the public space is an important and vital part of your company’s business regardless of its industry or services. Participating at trade shows is a must. How you participate is your choice. Make it count!

Even if your budget is not a large one, there are a number of optimizing solutions that can help you obtain the best trade show booth design and also the best results from participating at the trade show. The following article will give you a few insights into optimizing any budget for the best possible results! One of the main solutions of budget optimization that we will be discussing is the choice of whether to buy or rent and exhibition stand for a trade show.

Branding is all about impact. An image equals a thousand words. Why? Because it is easily processed and interpreted. The first impression is based on how you present yourself, on your image. You need to make sure that your image is one that perfectly aligns with your brand, with your values and with your company’s identity making visitors understand quickly who you are and what you are about. At a trade show, you will surely make an impression but will it be the right one?

There are many decisions to be made when thinking about participating at a trade show. One of the first and maybe one of the most important one is whether to buy or rent your trade show booth.

The truth is that there is no one type fits all solution. Each project is different even when talking about the same company participating at different trade show in different periods of time. A good exhibition consultancy firm will be able to design a great exhibition stand design and give you great advice about optimizing space, budget and time.

However, one of the most important elements here is communication. Together with your exhibition consultancy firm, you can identify your needs and goals and work together toward them in every decision. This includes the decision of buying or renting an exhibition stand.

Why rent an exhibition stand?

  1. It’s really easy! One of the main benefits of renting an exposition stand is the comfort of having a complete exhibition stand ready in no time. You won’t have to worry about being done in time for example. Usually, the team that will handle your stand’s delivery is used to close deadlines so it won’t really be much of a struggle to get the stand there one day early.
  2. It’s cheaper! What makes a trade show booth great? Quality materials! It is way cheaper to rent an exhibition stand that has great materials and an excellent design than to buy one at the same quality level.
  3. It’s always custom-made! Participating at different trade shows means talking to different audiences, maybe presenting different services or products in some cases. Why not adapt your message to fit every audience at every trade show you attend? By renting and exhibition stand you are able to redesign it every time to fit your message, to fit the trade show rules and regulations. Why not test different design and messages and see what works best for your audience? This way you will be able to pinpoint what works best for your targeted audience and settle on the most productive and efficient exhibition stand design for your brand.
  4. It’s simpler! If you live in one part of the world and the tradeshow takes place in another extreme corner. You might be able to manage getting the exhibition stand there but why worry about all the transportation costs and about the transportation risks? The cost of shipping your existing custom-made exhibition stand booth can be pretty high. Why not rent an exhibition stand from a local provider near the trade-show location?
  5. It’s a business move! If you are attending a trade-show for the first time, you might not be sure what your returns form the participation will be. It’s a better idea to rent an exhibition stand at first and then, based on the return you obtain from a few trade-show events, you will know how much money you should invest in an exhibition stand design and construction. It’s a good idea to test out some options you have when designing an exhibition stand and see what works best for you.

What you should know about buying an exhibition stand

There is a very common misconception that buying an exhibition stand in actually more cost efficient in time than renting one. The trail of though here is that the initial investment will be eventually amortized. This is rarely the case for most companies. However, it can be possible given that the exhibition stand design takes into consideration the following aspects:

  1. Set-up your Events Calendar. It is very important to take into consideration the next foreseeable trade events that you want to participate in. Depending on the location of the trade show event, sometimes it might be a better option to rent an exhibition stand as we mentioned before in the article. The costs of transportation might just be too high and when you also factor in the risk that something might go wrong, you might end up renting anyway. Talk about these events with your exhibition consultant. He or she will be able to guide you and recommend the best solution taking into consideration all the trade show you need to participate at in the foreseeable future.
  2. Define your exhibition space. Once you have your marketing plan and your events calendar all set up you will be able to correctly take into consideration the particularities of the rented space for each event show. When buying an exhibition stand it is important to note that from now one you will need to rent the same type of space for every single trade show event. The dimensions and the configuration of the space must be constant at all upcoming events otherwise your exhibition stand won’t fit correctly. The best way to be sure everything goes smoothly at your next exhibition events is to talk to your project manager about the upcoming exhibition events you want to participate at. By obtaining the exhibition specifications early on will provide valuable insights about future technical details you need to take into consideration. By having all the necessary information, you will be able to make sure your exhibition stand design meets all the criteria needed in order to participate at the desired trade shows. This way you will be able to avoid any complications or problems that might occur along the way.
  3. Storage space & maintenance. It is important to note that when you decide to buy an exhibition stand, there are a few more aspects you need to consider. One of them is storage space. If you are not going to opt for a predefined exposition stand (such as pop-ups or banner roll-ups), custom exposition stands are usually made out of rigid materials such as plywood or plexiglass and they don’t usually have a standard format So the storage space must be able to accommodate all these rigid and irregular parts of the exhibition stand. Moreover, it is important to note that with every assembling, the exhibition stand becomes more deteriorated. You need to take into account constant maintenance in order to use the same exhibition stand more than once.
  4. Budget. The budget is one of the main factors that weighs in at this decision. However, if you take into account all factors mentioned at the previous point of discussion, a bought exhibition stand can be a very cost-efficient option for your company!

So, is it better to rent or buy an exhibition stand? Well, it depends. If you are planning to participate at least 3 trade shows per year, it is definitely more cost-efficient to buy an exhibition stand. However, if you don’t really know at how many exhibitions you will be participating and whether or not you will have a good return on investment, then it is better to rent an exhibition stand. Also, another situation in which it is actually better to rent an exhibition stand is if you are about to participate at international exhibitions and the shipping costs are greater than just renting an exhibition stand from a local supplier.

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