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Your trade show booth is an important part of your overall show experience; it can help you stand out in the crowd and provide information about your company to attendees. Obviously, having a good booth is critical, but should you rent one or buy one? Both options offer advantages and disadvantages, so the answer depends a lot on how you plan to use the booth.

Renting Pros

  • No fees for storage – Because the booth is not yours, you aren’t responsible for transporting it to the show location or storing it when not in use.
  • Little to no maintenance – Regular maintenance costs are typically not your responsibility.
  • Lower cost – Renting a booth usually costs about one third of the price of buying one.
  • Change your look – It is easy to change your booth from show to show to fit different spaces or promote new products.

Renting Cons

  • Higher cost over time – If you frequently exhibit at trade shows, the cost of renting can add up compared to purchasing a booth to use repeatedly.
  • Wear and tear – Some rental companies provide booths with visible wear, so make sure to only rent from a trusted source.
  • Availability – Renting gives you fewer last minute options because you don’t know if what you need will be available.
  • Additional costs – Furniture and accessories for your booth can dramatically increase the price of renting, as can line-item fees.
  • Graphics cost – While the hardware is less expensive to rent, custom printed graphics cost typically will not be included in the rental cost, graphics are specific to your company – so they will be yours to keep.

Purchasing Pros

  • Long term cost – If you plan to use the booth multiple times, purchasing one quickly becomes the more cost effective option.
  • Customized design – You have complete control over the way your booth is built, the materials used and how it looks.
  • Branding – Owning your booth lets you determine every aspect of how your brand is represented.
  • Condition of booth – You always know exactly what condition your booth is in and don’t have to worry about having a less-than-ideal booth delivered by the rental company.

Purchasing Cons

  • Initial cost – Purchasing a booth costs more initially than renting one.
  • Difficult to change – Unless you are purchasing a custom modular exhibit, it can be harder to change your booth to update your look or accommodate different spaces.
  • Storage and shipping – You have to plan and pay for storing your booth between trade shows and transporting it to show locations.
  • Repairs – Maintenance and repairs are your responsibility and are generally required after every show.
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Rent or Buy

Because there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, the decision to rent or buy is a personal one based on your situation. If you exhibit at more than three shows per year, then purchasing a booth is probably a good decision. Purchasing is also a good idea if you want a custom booth that looks a certain way and represents your brand in the best way possible. It is easier to have a booth that stands out if you have one custom made for your company. If you only exhibit occasionally or have reasons to change your booth frequently, then renting is likely the better option for your business. Small businesses or those just starting out in trade shows may also prefer to rent a booth, and renting is helpful in situations where you want to exhibit at more than one show at a time.

Whether you are interested in renting or buying, Nimlok Louisiana makes the process simple and easy. We can help you determine which option will work well for you and provide you with great choices either way. Our affordable rental options give you access to high-quality rental booths that can be customized to meet your needs. Or we can help you create a fully custom booth to fit your company’s needs and style. We also offer a fully-staffed climate controlled storage facility to inspect and perform all repairs and regular maintenance on your exhibit and graphics to ensure show readiness.

Mix and Match

One way to get the best of both worlds is to purchase parts of your booth and rent others. This lets you take advantage of many of the benefits of both options with fewer drawbacks. You can purchase the main components of your booth and supplement with added rental components to keep you booth fresh and exciting at show after show. Or you can focus on creating great graphics and smaller components and rent the backbone of a booth for ease of transportation and set up.

At Nimlok Louisiana, we are more than just a booth design company. We offer comprehensive trade show services to help you with every aspect of your trade show experience. Whether you are interested in renting a booth, purchasing one, storing it, maintaining it, a combination of everything or you aren’t yet sure, we can help you find an ideal booth for your company and will work with you from start to finish – and afterwards.