When it comes to showing your wares and showcasing your skills — both as a company and as an individual — there’s no better venue than the trade show. In fact, over 40 million people attend a trade show, conference, or another professional event every year. That’s an enormous percentage of the population, especially when you consider that the bulk of that audience has a marked desire to be there.
Most participants at trade shows decide to display their wares in what is colloquially called a “booth.” Everyone is allotted a certain amount of space, and the best way to use that space is to invest in a pre-made or easily fabricated “display.” These displays can be simple or elaborate — though there is certainly something of an arms race for the attention of consumers trending towards the elaborate.
Displays are designed to grab the attention of the passerby, to present your company in a sleek, professional way and to transfer information to anyone who might be interested efficiently. These displays have to accomplish a lot. It’s no surprise, then, that when to rent and when to buy trade show exhibits can become a big question — with significant implications for your team and your business.
As a general rule of thumb, the cost of renting a display is somewhere around 33% of purchasing a screen. If your company attends less than three trade shows a year, renting may be the best option. However, you may use your display for projects other than trade shows (creating a video for the internet, for example), and this may influence your final calculus.
If you attend more than 2-3 trade shows a year, you will see how purchasing a display may be more beneficial. It’s important to remember that there are additional complications tied to owning your screen, storage not least among them. But such ownership does give you added flexibility if, for example, you wanted to attend a new trade show.
A stock display — one that uses stock graphics, inserts, and sizes — is a much less expensive option than a custom display. As such, stock displays tend to be more frequently used when a custom display is not specifically called for or required. Due to their nature, stock displays tend to be a much more standard option when it comes to displaying rentals.
Just as there are some instances where renting is the clear winner, there are some cases where it makes much more sense to buy than it does to rent. And here are some of those cases: You want something custom-made: As we discussed above, custom signage can get to be expensive, making it impractical for rental purposes. To get a custom display, you will likely have to invest so much money in that display that giving it back to someone else at the end of your trade show does not make much financial sense. It’s better, in those cases, to purchase your custom tradeshow display — that way you can use it over and over again to get the best possible return on your investment. You have plenty of storage spacef storage space is not an issue for your business, then that makes purchasing a tradeshow display a much simpler proposition. This is especially true if you have an abundance of storage space — which means that while some displays can be configured to fold and bend for easier transportation and storage, they do still require significant space to store. If you’ve got it to spare, then buying a display makes a lot of sense.
If you’re going to be using your display often, it makes sense to spend the money to ensure that it will always be available in the way and shape that you want it. You’ll also be able to save more money in the long run — while buying is something like three times more expensive than renting, you will only have to pay that fee once.