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Rent vs buy: when it comes to trade show booths

Trade show booths are incredibly important for attracting visitors and potential customers or partners, so there’s a lot of pressure to get the best one for your needs. It can be very hard to choose between renting or buying a booth because there are various advantages and disadvantages based on your decision. Not only that, but the benefits will largely alter based on your needs.

Costs
It’s hard to determine which booth is more cost-effective without first considering how often you go to trade shows. If you rarely participate in trade shows, then renting the booth will be much cheaper, but this changes if you commonly need a booth. If you buy a booth, then you need to worry about shipping, storing and maintaining the booth. Renting a booth allows you to get lower shipping prices, and you don’t need to worry about storing or maintaining it.

Control
You get very little control when renting a trade show booth. You might be able to change some of the graphics, but the booth is made to be used by many different companies. This means that the graphics will be relatively generic. You might also have to adapt to different booths because another company may rent the one you used last week.

Buying a booth gives you total control. You can alter the graphics to your choosing, and the booth will always be available when you need it. This is especially important for people with specific presentation needs, or those who want consistent branding.

Unique Strategies
Each trade show is different. You might have a large and spacious area at one show, but then a small table at the next. If you buy a booth, then you’re stuck with that single model unless you buy another one. Renting allows you to get different booths based on your exact needs.

You can get a booth that fits right on a table, or one that gives you enough room to meet and greet visitors. If your needs keep changing based on the trade show, then renting might be the better option.

Budgeting
Larger businesses tend to put a lot of energy into effective budgets, but every company tries to make a good budget that accommodates for every expenditure. If you want to plan ahead, then buying a display is much better. There might be some surprises here and there, but you can easily determine the overall costs rather accurately.

The same cannot be said for renting. The prices can always change, and it’s hard to determine the overall cost if you’re unsure of how many trade shows you will attend.

Investment
Buying a trade show booth is a good investment that will last for about five years or longer. You can use the booth whenever you need it, and it will ensure that the tool is always there if an opportunity presents itself. This makes buying a long-term strategy.

Renting is a short-term strategy. The lower cost makes it better for those who are just starting their business, but it’s not an investment decision. The booth is gone as soon as you return it. There’s nothing wrong with short-term strategies, but you have to ensure that you use them to your benefit.

Emphasis
What do you want to emphasize when going to a trade show? If you rent, then you have to place emphasis on the product because that’s the only consistent thing that you'll offer. The booth might be different during your next trade show.

If you buy a booth, then you can emphasize a consistent design and really impress your visitors. You can buy matching flyers, brochures and business cards, and you can also improve your branding. At the same time, this might keep the customer’s attention away from the product or specific details.

Conclusion
It’s hard to say if renting or buying a booth is better because these are both fine choices with different benefits. If you attend many trade shows and want a consistent design, then buying a trade show booth is the best choice. If you only attend a few trade shows and you want to work with your space’s exact size and dimensions, then renting a booth is the better option.

Author Bio

Mike Weimar is the CEO of discounts on trade show booths at Iconic Displays. Mike is enthusiastic about trade show displays and booths for small and large businesses. Contact Mike to learn what Ionic Displays can do for you!

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