Exhibit Booth: To Buy or To Rent?

Determining whether to rent or purchase a new tradeshow display is a practical consideration, particularly for those new to tradeshow marketing. While acquiring a new booth can strain your budget, opting for a rental can offer a more cost-effective alternative. Here, we delve into practical aspects to help you make a well-informed comparison between the two options.

Key Considerations:

  • Exhibition Frequency:

The frequency of your exhibitions plays a pivotal role in the decision-making process. If you anticipate participating in four or more shows annually, purchasing a booth may emerge as the financially sound choice. Industry experts often point out that after a few rounds of renting, the cumulative costs could equal or surpass the expense of buying.

  • Functionality and Appearance:

Assessing the significance of customization for your booth is crucial. Opting to purchase provides the advantage of a tailored look, ensuring that your booth aligns seamlessly with your brand. Consider both the functional aspects and aesthetic appeal in this evaluation.


  • Realistic Budget:

Establishing a realistic budget is important. While the initial investment for purchasing is higher, it’s imperative to factor in the long-term financial implications. Over time, as the cost per show diminishes, the financial viability of buying becomes more apparent.

Beyond Finances:

Consider the pragmatic advantages associated with renting:

  • Flexibility:

Renting offers a level of flexibility that can be advantageous. Decision-making can be deferred until closer to the show date, and customizations within the rental parameters can be accommodated more efficiently.

  • Turnkey Approach:

Renting is particularly convenient if managing logistics seems overwhelming. Entrusting the exhibit house or contractor to handle intricate details allows you to concentrate on presenting your product or service during the show.

  • Trial Period:

Renting provides a valuable trial period, allowing you to experiment with various styles before committing to a purchase. This practical experience aids in assessing the look, feel, and functionality of a booth.

  • Short-Term Commitment

For those in the early stages of exploring tradeshow strategies without a substantial upfront investment, renting provides a short-term commitment that aligns with the flexibility needed for exploration.

  • The Long-Term Perspective:

Purchasing entails a higher upfront investment but offers the advantage of a more tailored design. As the cost per show diminishes over time, the financial benefits become evident. Additionally, consider the long-term commitment involved and explore potential tax benefits associated with purchasing a depreciable capital asset.

In conclusion, the decision hinges on a delicate balance between short-term convenience and a more enduring commitment, with the ultimate goal of maximizing your tradeshow presence over time.