“Should we rent or buy our trade show exhibit?” is a common question we get from new customers, and the answer is based on how often you attend trade shows and how much flexibility you need from an exhibit. Renting a complete booth (not including custom graphics) usually costs about 30-50% of the cost of purchasing the same exhibit.

So, if you usually attend 3 or more trade shows per year, or if you prefer having the same basic configuration from year to year and anticipate using the exhibit for 3 or more years in a row, purchasing a custom booth can be a more cost-effective choice. It can also boost brand recognition in regular attendees from show to show and year to year. It is a bigger financial commitment on the front end, but lesser annual expenses and depreciation of a capital expense may offer balance.

If, however, flexibility is more important to you because your team attends only a single annual event, or you prefer to create a new design for every trade show or every year, renting may be more practical for your needs. Rentals are perfect for the company that wants to customize the size and complexity of their exhibit in response to market conditions, products showcased, or other variables. This option requires an annual planned expenditure, but no maintenance costs over time.

Rent vs. Buy FAQ

Why do you not include the cost of the custom graphics when balancing renting and purchasing? When discussing the benefits and costs of renting versus purchasing, we don’t include the custom graphics, as those often change from venue to venue even if you buy an exhibit, so those costs could stay the same for either solution.

What if our company is new, and we want to make a big splash this year but scale back next year? You may want to consider renting a larger, impactful exhibit this year, and then plan ahead to design a more modest booth to use again and again for the next few years.

Won’t having the same booth every year lose effectiveness? We can help you design and add custom graphics to the booth you purchase so that it makes a fresh impact each year.

Are there different ways to pay for an exhibit? We can help here too.  One way is to lease an exhibit the same way you would a car. This would let you use the exhibit and while only paying a deposit once you take possession. The balance would be paid over a time period agreed by you with a leasing company. Government grants are another option where we can help, since we have two strong grant programs for your company called Export Quebec and CanExport. We can obtain up to 40% of eligible expenses for Quebec and 50% for Canada, which can cover eligible trade show expenses, hotel and travel expenses and in certain cases, monies even for web development and graphic design.

What about the costs of repairing, storing, insuring and shipping a purchased exhibit? You do have some additional expenses with a purchased exhibit. Contact BERLINdisplays today and we’ll be happy to walk you through those expenses and all the solutions we offer.

BERLINdisplays works hard to help you display your organization or products to the very best advantage. If you are considering whether to buy or rent your trade-show display or booth, please contact us today. We would be honoured to help you make the best decision for your company and your bottom line.

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