To Buy or to Rent an Exhibit: Exhibit Experience Weighs in

May 10, 2019

Exhibit Experience offers both custom purchase exhibits and custom modular rentals, in addition to discounted custom exhibit rentals. When it comes to advising clients to buy or to rent an exhibit, our advice has changed over the years. In the early years of exhibit rentals, options were not as diverse and it was easy to tell the custom exhibits from the rented exhibits on the trade show floor. Today, with LED skins, seamless fabrics, lightweight frames, custom flooring, and customizable lightboxes, distinguishing between a rental and custom is nearly impossible to the untrained eye. Increasingly, our clients are basing their decisions on the dollars and the delivery. Below are some of the most relevant up to date considerations to take into account when deciding whether to rent or to buy your exhibit.


Do you have the expendable and trained manpower to pack, check, install, dismantle, and organize logistics for a purchased property? When you buy a custom exhibit, you will need time for the build, (we recommend 90 days), and staff for the upkeep and checking. AV, furnishings, flooring, frames, all depreciate as soon as you get the booth and without proper upkeep, they depreciate at a much faster rate.

Storage vs. Delivery

Are you showing locally, regularly, or are you showing across regions and internationally? If you are showing locally and regularly, you could realize savings by storing and devoting labor to your exhibits inhouse, however, if your shows are back to back and in different locations, an exhibit house will save you a considerable amount of money. Our operations division stores purchased exhibits and delivers and installs around the world, in addition, to deliver and install rented exhibits in short intervals. The advantage of using an exhibit house in these instances is that we are experts at show logistics, show labor, show regulations, and we deal with customs, labor unions, and insurance for you. This also factors into the labor category above.


Exhibit size, AV packages, furnishings, and flooring are all variables for your teams to consider when purchasing or renting an exhibit. If you are attending shows that all can accommodate the same size exhibit, you can use outdating AV equipment such as computers, tablets, and sound, and you have space for furniture, then a purchase price and upkeep can be absorbed into other areas of your business. If you have different booth size requirements, are not able to absorb outdated AV equipment, and have no space for exhibit furniture, then a rental is a better option. Flooring will likely need to be replaced the most often, and it is not useful outside of the trade show floor. Rentals give you more options overall for creating dynamic exhibits that catch more eyes across more trade show floors.

Exhibit Experience has another option for those still on the fence of renting vs buying custom. We have discounted exhibits that have been fully customized for clients and are now stored. We change the face of the exhibit to your specifications and deliver the exhibit for you at a fraction of the cost. In this market, with dwindling attention spans, we recommend renting exhibits and applying fresh marketing ideas. Our teams have over 25 years experience on the trade show floor and our designers have their fingers firmly on the pulse of trade show marketing. All year, we are attending the biggest shows, with the most purchasing power and observing the best performing booths. We know what works and we are here to make sure that your rental or purchase hits your goals on the trade show floor. Contact our team for more information on showing packages, single show exhibit rentals, or discount rentals.

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For more information on our trade show booths and services give us a call at (888) 475-3512 or fill out the form below.