The pros and cons of a rental trade show booth vs and purchase

Is your marketing team debating whether to rent or buy your company’s next custom trade show booth?

There are pros and cons to both options, and it’s important to weigh them carefully before making your decision. Renting a trade show booth may at first seem like a cheaper option, but it also comes with certain drawbacks. On the other hand, purchasing a trade show booth can, if designed appropriately, save you money in the long run. If you’re deciding whether to rent or buy a trade show booth for your next event, DisplayCraft is here to help! In this blog post, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renting vs buying a trade show booth. You’ll learn the different benefits each option offers. As a result, you can make an informed decision between a rental trade show booth or buying a customized solution.

Pros and Cons of Renting a Trade Show Booth

If you’re preparing for an upcoming trade show, you’re likely wondering whether it makes more sense to rent or buy a booth. Both options come with their own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to carefully consider each before making a decision.

One of the biggest advantages of renting a trade show booth is “per-event” affordability. Affordable booth rental options are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and levels of finish. So don’t worry, finding or designing a rental booth that suits your needs and budget won’t be a problem. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a small business or startup with limited resources. There are also elaborate rental booths available for companies ambitious to make a statement, while also simultaneously providing their sales team with the absolute best array of on-site tools to maximize the investment and outcome of their event.

Renting a booth also offers flexibility and convenience. You don’t have to worry about storing, transporting, and maintaining a large booth or display, which can be more responsibility than you desire. Instead, the vendor, such as DisplayCraft, will handle all of these details. As a result, this leaves you free to focus on other aspects of your trade show preparation.

However, there are also some drawbacks to renting a booth. For one, you’ll likely have fewer customization options than if you were to purchase a booth. You may have a limited choice of designs and sizes, which may not perfectly match your branding and needs.

Additionally, renting a booth may be more expensive over time than purchasing one. Do you plan to attend multiple trade shows over a period of time? If so, it may make more financial sense to invest in your own custom trade show booth. Not only can you use it again and again, but it can also be customized to meet your specific needs.

So, why purchase a trade show booth? One key advantage is the ability to customize your display to perfectly suit your brand and message. Your booth design can showcase your products and services in the best possible light and stand out from the competition.

Another benefit is the potential for cost savings in the long run. While the upfront investment may be higher than renting, purchasing a booth means you’ll own a display that you can use for years to come. You won’t have to worry about the cost of renting a booth for each of the trade shows you attend, which can add up quickly.

Ultimately, whether you decide to rent or buy a trade show booth depends on your specific needs and goals. Consider factors such as your budget, how frequently you attend trade shows, and the level of customization you require. With careful consideration, you can make a decision that sets your business up for success at your next trade show.

Factors to Consider When Deciding to Rent or Buy

As you consider your options, there are several factors to weigh in deciding whether to rent or buy your booth. One consideration is affordability. An affordable booth rental can be a great option for smaller businesses or those who only attend a few trade shows per year. Renting a booth can also be a good way to test the waters and see how well your products or services are received before committing to a purchase.

On the other hand, if you attend trade shows frequently, or if you have a larger budget, purchasing a trade show booth can be a worthwhile investment. Having a booth that you own can give you more control over the design and branding, and can save you money in the long run by avoiding the recurring cost of renting.

Another factor to consider is the level of customization you want for your booth. While rental booths can be customized to some degree, owning a booth gives you the flexibility to create a truly unique exhibit that stands out from the competition.

Finally, it’s important to consider the logistics of shipping, assembly, and storage. If you rent a booth, the rental company will usually handle these tasks for you. However, owning a booth means taking on the responsibility of shipping and storing the booth, as well as setting it up and taking it down at each show.

Overall, there are advantages and disadvantages to both renting and buying a trade show booth. By considering your budget, customization needs, and logistics, you can make an informed decision that best suits your business.

Cost Comparison Between Renting and Buying

When it comes to deciding whether to rent or buy a trade show booth, cost is always a major consideration. So, let’s take a closer look at the cost comparison between renting and buying.

Affordable booth rental is a popular option for many exhibitors because it offers flexibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. By choosing the rental route, you can avoid the initial capital investment in a trade show booth structure. You simply pay for the rental fee and any additional services you may need, such as graphics, lighting, or furniture. Plus, you can change your booth design or size for each show without any additional costs.

On the other hand, purchasing a trade show booth requires a larger upfront investment but can save you money in the long run if you plan to exhibit frequently. Buying a booth means you own it and can use it multiple times, reducing your overall cost per show. You can also customize your booth to your brand’s specific needs and preferences.

When deciding whether to rent or buy, it’s essential to consider your trade show schedule and budget. If you only exhibit once or twice a year and have a limited budget, renting may be the better option. But if you have a packed schedule and can afford the initial investment, purchasing may be the more cost-effective option in the long run. It’s also worth noting that renting can come with additional extra costs, such as transportation and on-site services. Make sure to ask your rental company, whether it’s DisplayCraft or any other reputable shop for a detailed breakdown of all costs before committing to a rental.

In the end, the cost comparison between renting and buying a trade show booth will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. The cost of renting a custom trade show booth depends on several factors, such as the size, layout, design, level of finish, material choices, accessories, technologies, etc.

A general industry-wide rule-of-thumb to use when considering a purchase is $100 and $150 per square foot to rent custom trade show booths but can exceed $250 per square foot for an over-the-top design that involves an abundant number of customizations and high-tech elements. When booths are smaller than 20′ x 20′, the rental is roughly $275 per square foot. These costs are in addition to the servicing, on-site expenses, creative services and logistics.

Alternatively, the cost to build a custom trade show booth typically ranges between $175 and $350 per square foot or more, depending on audio-visual technologies deployed, design characteristics and the types of upgrades built into the design. Consider all the factors, weigh the pros and cons, and make the decision that makes the most sense for your business and budget.

Tips for Maximizing ROI on Your Trade Show Booth Investment

Why purchase or rent a trade show booth if you’re not going to get the most out of it? Here are some tips to help you maximize your trade show ROI (Return on Investment) and ROO (Return on Objective):

  1.  Plan Ahead: Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning for your trade show. The earlier you start, the more time you have to prepare and make necessary changes.
  2.  Make It Eye-Catching: Your booth should be visually appealing, branded, and designed to draw in existing and potential customers. Use bright colors, lighting, graphics, and interesting designs to make your booth stand out from the crowd.
  3. Train Your Staff: Your staff is your front line at the trade show. Make sure they are well-trained, knowledgeable about your products or services, and engaging with attendees. Sitting, congregating and mobile phone use should never be seen by the attendees. Making eye contact with attendees walking the aisles alongside your booth is critical.
  4. Offer Giveaways: Everyone loves free stuff! Offer branded promotional items to visitors who stop by your booth. Giveaways can help them remember your brand long after the show is over.
  5. Snacks, Coffee and Refreshments: The alluring aroma of brewing coffee, freshly baked cookies and still popcorn, attracts attendees from all directions. Although hospitality is a big investment, the attraction value is usually well worth it!
  6. Follow-Up: After the show is over, don’t forget to follow up with the leads you collected. Make sure you stay top-of-mind with these potential customers by sending personalized emails or phone calls.

By implementing these tips, you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of your trade show booth investment, regardless of whether you rented or purchased your booth. Remember, a successful trade show can help drive new business and boost your bottom line.

Trade Show Booth Pricing Wrap-Up

Now that you have a better understanding of trade show booth pricing, let’s take a look at realistic costs to produce a trade show booth.

Every trade show builder throughout the United States uses different pricing and service models. This can make it difficult to compare your options apples-to-apples and know how to best utilize your budget. Carefully read through proposals and quotes so that you know what you are paying for and what is not included. Ask a ton of questions, especially if you are unclear about something. Surprises in the trade show industry can be costly. To get a clear understanding, isolate the booth purchase or rental costs separately from on-site services, supervision and shipping costs.

At DisplayCraft, we have a 25% service fee. The fee covers several costs, but mostly it supports our team’s comprehensive level of service without raising our overall rates. We closely handle and monitor, scrutinize and reconcile all trade show services, greatly reducing your workload and exposure to overcharges. On your behalf, we’ll order your shipping, material handling, installation, and dismantle labor, electrical, internet, cleaning, catering, and more.

Other companies may have little or no service fee, but their labor rates may be significantly higher or buried. At the end of the day, DisplayCraft’s pricing structure has been honed over the years in our client’s best interests – to help you remain focused on making the most of your budget and time, while getting the all-inclusive service you require.

Are you still feeling overwhelmed about renting or purchasing your trade show booth? Contact our team of experts to discuss how to make the most of your budget.