October 25, 2016 — There’s no single answer to the question of whether it’s better to rent or buy your trade show display materials. It’s going to depend almost entirely on your budget, as well as your goals for the current show and your future goals going forward. Either approach can be appropriate, just depending on circumstances.
So, Best Displays & Graphics wanted to take a look at the issue. This isn’t a direct “which is better?” article, we’ll just be talking about the benefits of each in hopes of helping you make a better decision.
Renting or Buying? A Rundown of the Benefits to Each
The Benefits of Renting
- Low Costs
This one’s obvious: Renting a display will always cost far less than buying that same display. For many operations on a tight marketing budget, renting will allow them to make exhibition appearances which simply would be unaffordable otherwise. And, of course, visitors have no way of knowing you’re getting your display on the cheap.
- Test Out Approaches
Are you new to trade show appearances, and wanting to try out a few different tactics or booth designs over the course of a year to see which works best for you? Renting is an excellent option here. The costs to rent several different displays may not be cheaper than buying one set display, but it’s a great way to experiment.
- Rent-to-Own is Usually an Option
Renting vs. buying isn’t necessarily a hard either\or choice. Most trade show display companies will offer the option to buy your setup after the show, with the paid rental costs deducted from the total price. If you’re experimenting with designs, it makes “try before you buy” a completely viable strategy. Just make sure to confirm ahead of time that your display vendor will let you do this.
- No Storage Worries
One cost of trade show displays that’s often overlooked is the cost of storing the display materials after the show. Unless you have concrete plans for using them afterwards, you’ll have to pay for storage as well as hauling them back and forth. Renting cuts out this aspect of trade show appearances almost entirely, especially since if you’re renting from a local place they’ll probably have very cheap options for returning the materials afterward.
The Benefits of Buying
The big benefit to owning your own trade show materials is that you can make use of them repeatedly, over many months or years. This doesn’t even necessarily only apply to trade shows. Many pieces of hardware, such as pamphlet displays, can be put to use in your office or retail space when they aren’t in an exhibition hall. This is particularly true of any technology you might buy, such as tablets or large-screen displays.
- Long-Term Warranties
Exhibition displays are an investment, and your purchase protection reflects this. While most warranties understandably have exceptions for wear-and-tear, your display hardware purchase is generally covered under warranty for years or even lifetime use.
- Simplify Future Booth Planning
When you have a set of trade show display hardware which you own, it tends to greatly simplify planning and design for future appearances – especially if you’re happy with a basic layout and want to use it for multiple shows. Often it means little more than making slight tweaks to the layout to fit whatever space you’re in. This reduces costs for pre-show preparation, as well as making installation easier at the show.
- Use Modular Systems to Keep Future Costs Down
A lot of trade show display materials, such as our Fab Frame system, are deliberately modular and easy to adapt to new designs. This can create a best-of-both-worlds solution for a brand that wants to keep its trade show displays fresh and innovative. Once you own a “core” set of display building materials, it’s affordable to pick up a few new parts which allow you to reconfigure the display or add features. Some of them are so easy to reassemble, it’s like a LEGO set for adults.
Best Displays & Graphics for All Your Exhibition Needs
From spare parts to full display design and setup, Best Displays is a one-stop-shop that can handle everything you need for your next trade show. We offer both rental and purchase options, and we’re happy to discuss your project to determine which approach best fits your needs and budget.