To Rent or Not To Rent

by Admin | January 16, 2018 | Strategy and Marketing

Your trade show booth makes a powerful first impression – it’s your product and personality all wrapped up in one small space. But before you can start planning that space, you’ll have to decide whether to rent or buy. The answer depends on how you plan to use the booth. Here are the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision.

Renting Pros
• No storage fees: You aren’t responsible for transporting it to the show or storing it when not in use.
• Little to no maintenance: Regular maintenance costs are typically not your responsibility.
• Less expensive: Renting a booth usually costs about one-third of the price of buying one.
• Easy to change: When you have new products to promote or new space requirements, we’ll help you switch things up.

Renting Cons
• Higher cost over time: If you frequently exhibit at trade shows, renting will eventually cost more than buying.
• Wear and tear: Some companies will rent booths with visible damage, so be sure to rent from a trusted source.
• Availability: Renting gives you fewer last-minute options, because you don’t know what will be in stock.
• Additional costs: Furniture and accessories can dramatically increase the price of renting, as can line-item fees.
• Graphics expenses: Because graphics are custom made, they’ll be yours to keep – but likely won’t be included in the basic rental fees.

Purchasing Pros
• Lower long-term cost: If you plan to use a booth multiple times, purchasing quickly becomes the more cost-effective option.
• Customized design: You have complete control over the way your booth is built, the materials used and the way it looks.
• Branding: Owning your booth gives you complete control of how your brand is represented.
• Condition of booth: Never worry about having a run-down booth delivered by the rental company.

Purchasing Cons
• Initial cost: Purchasing a booth is a one-time investment with higher up-front costs.
• Difficult to change: Unless you purchase a custom modular exhibit, it can be harder to update your look or accommodate different spaces.
• Storage and shipping: Planning and paying for storage and transportation will be your responsibility.
• Repairs: Maintenance and repairs are your responsibility and are generally required after every show to protect your investment.

Rent or Buy
The decision to rent or buy is a personal one based on your situation. As a rule of thumb, if you exhibit at more than three shows per year, purchasing a booth is probably a good decision. It’s also a good idea if you want a custom look that really stands out and represents your brand in the best way possible.

Renting is likely the better option if you only exhibit occasionally or have reasons to change your booth frequently. Small businesses or those just starting out in trade shows may also prefer to rent a booth. It’s also a great option when you want to exhibit at more than one show at a time.

Want the best of both worlds? You can always purchase parts of your booth and rent others. For instance, purchase the main components of your booth and supplement with added rental components to keep your booth fresh and compelling, show after show. Or you can invest in great custom graphics and smaller components, and rent the backbone of a booth for ease of transportation and setup.


VOXX is a comprehensive trade-show partner. With decades of trade show experience between us, we’re happy to help you navigate the rent-or-buy decision and offer you plenty of options from design to building, transportation to storage.


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