When interviewing potential clients regarding their trade show plans, I’m often struck by how often many exhibitors don’t consider an exhibit rental. It’s surprising because many (if not most) of these exhibitors would benefit by implementing an exhibit rental strategy into their trade show program.
Have you noticed a change in trade show exhibits over the past few years? Instead of booths made up of wood, you now may notice that these booths consist of metal, polymers, fabric and other lightweight material. What you may not realize is that exhibit houses rent most of these new booths with these new materials. Rent? Yes. Does that make sense? In our view, YES, very much so. There are several reasons why – but here are the top 5:
1) You can treat your exhibit program like a Direct Mail campaign or any other Marketing Expense:
Many companies don’t want to have to deal with the various inconveniences (hassles) of owning an exhibit. Between storage, maintenance costs (1-5% of the purchase price per show), outdated booth designs, etc., etc., it doesn’t make financial sense to purchase a new exhibit. Simply writing a check and washing your hands of the maintenance, upkeep and other hassles of booth ownership is a huge appeal to most exhibitors today.
2) It’s easier, WAY easier
Universally, our clients all state that they are amazed and relieved that they don’t have to “do it all” anymore. One client in particular (who had traditionally used the show contractor for his booth) was amazed of the level of completion and service that we provided for their exhibit rental. There were no leftover cords to clean up, no electrical to coordinate, and he could show up two days later than usual, refreshed and ready for the show.
3) If your strategy often changes, Renting is the only way to go.
We have one client who has had six strategy and product line changes, over the last three years! If they had purchased their exhibit, they would have spent 6-figures-plus on booth modifications over this period to deal with all these changes! With an exhibit rental, your exposure is limited when your company’s strategy and product line is constantly changing.
4) You don’t exhibit enough
If you only exhibit once or twice a year, then renting typically is the best solution. We’ve analyzed countless exhibit programs, and have found that you need 5 to 6 uses of an unchanged (note – unchanged) trade show exhibit before the economies of purchasing outweigh renting. We’ve also noticed that most companies go through a major strategy or product line change every 2-3 years. So, you will have to exhibit over three times a year with the same booth configuration to realize a cost advantage (which says nothing about different booth sizes, reconfigurations or other changes). Most of you who exhibit once or twice a year should be renting your exhibit.
5) You can still keep your logos, graphics and other custom items that you wish to re-use
Many of the exhibitors we talk to assume that an exhibit rental means “starting from scratch” from year to year. Not the case when there are plenty of logos and other material that one can reuse in following implementations. We always keep your graphics if you plan on doing other shows with us. Reusing these graphics will reduce your cost basis (sometimes significantly) and if you have various sized booths – these pieces can find themselves used in several booth designs!