Exhibit Rentals: 5 Key Considerations For Your Next Trade Show

Trade Show Rentals
February 3, 2019

Understanding The Exhibit Rentals Market

The trade show exhibit rentals industry is booming. Because of this, a wide range of vendors are entering the market or expanding their services to gain as much market share as possible. However, all exhibit rental companies are not created equally. There are solopreneurs running their own operation, and there are companies with thousands of employees.

How do you find the right company for your exhibit rental needs? The discovery process starts by skillfully asking the right questions. Does a vendor you are considering hold a large inventory? What kind of materials make up their various rental components? Are their exhibits in good condition, or worn down? Will you have the support you need around administration and setup? The list goes on and on.

In this article, we’ll look at 5 key truth to consider when it comes to exhibit rentals:

1. Renting Trade Show Exhibits is Just One Option

When vetting exhibit rental companies, it’s important to remember that many companies are incentivized to convince you that renting is the best option for your business – especially if they don’t sell exhibits themselves. These companies pitch cost savings on storage fees, flexibility around changing up your exhibits, and more, as compelling reasons to dismiss the idea of purchasing your own exhibit altogether.

Beneath the surface however, a different truth may emerge. In many cases, buying a trade show exhibit can be a better solution. It depends on things like:

  • Frequency of use
  • Lifespan of exhibit
  • Ongoing modification needs
  • Long-term and short-term goals
  • Creative control
  • Logistical preferences

There are many factors that go into answering the question of if you should buy or rent a trade show exhibit. Know your goals, needs, and numbers to make the best decision for your company.

2. Understand the Relationship of Graphics vs. Structures

trade show exhibit rentals

You may need to cycle through graphics and messaging more often than you anticipate. Make sure you have a plan in place for this process!

Each time you change your style, design or messaging on the visual side, you are purchasing new graphics. Some exhibitors think many of these elements will be evergreen, but the business world is fast-paced and often requires on-the-fly adjustments for these kinds of situations. Be prepared for this, and have a system and strategy in place. Remember, you may be renting the structure and components but you own the graphics.

3. Analyze Inventory, Experience and Capabilities

There are times in life when it pays to work with smaller companies. We would argue that renting trade show exhibits is probably not one of those times. Established rental companies with a solid base of operation underneath them will have a much larger inventory from which to craft your display. They won’t be as limited in their options. They will be able to build your exhibit around your vision and needs rather than their existing inventory.


Learn About Virtual Exhibits

In the digital era, it’s important to adapt and embrace new technologies. Learn about how virtual trade shows can help you reach and engage new customers.


4. Packaging, Presentation, Quality & Communication are Vital

Many new exhibitors become so immersed in the design and components of their trade show exhibit, they often overlook the other details – especially when it comes to exhibit rentals. Renting might not be as expensive as buying a brand new exhibit, but the costs can still be significant. Struggling through setup, receiving poor packaging, and other related frustrations can limit your exhibition experience and overall success at your trade show. A few things that define a class-act exhibit rental company include:

  • Detailed drawings and illustrations to guide the setup process
  • Numbered or labeled trade show components
  • Photos showing pre-assembly and other key visual aids
  • Clean hardware
  • Jigged packaging/crating

When it comes time to actually exhibit, you want to ensure you are set up for as much success as possible. Make sure to choose an exhibit rental company that won’t leave you high and dry once the design and construction phase are completed.

5. Plan on a Long-Term Relationship with Your Exhibit Rentals Supplier

While trade show exhibit schedules vary by business and industry, you are more than likely going to have a fairly involved relationship with your supplier. Responsive, clear communication, as well as commitment to fulfilling your exhibit rental needs are crucial intangibles that shouldn’t be sacrificed. A good vendor relationship means you’ll develop a rhythm with your supplier around your trade show schedule, frequency of change orders needed, shipping timelines, and other important, involved questions.

Great trade show booth design does not always equate to friendly, helpful communication skills. An impressive inventory does not guarantee your supplier will always be able to deliver your exhibit on time. Understanding these principles up front will help you choose a partner that delivers value around every corner to best position your business for success.

All in all, make sure you aren’t afraid to ask detailed and perhaps uncomfortable questions as you consider your trade show exhibit rental options. The relationship will likely be involved, so it’s in your best interest to make a considered decision up front.


Wrapping Up: Exhibit Rentals

To summarize, there’s more that goes into renting a trade show exhibit than many realize. Understanding the nuances of the industry and asking questions around the considerations recommended in this article will get you started in the right direction, but be prepared to keep learning with every show!

If you’d like to learn more about how Exhibits NW can serve your trade show exhibit rental needs, start by checking out our trade show display rentals page.

Schedule a Call

If you’re ready to take your trade show exhibits to new heights, fill out this form, and we’ll contact you shortly.

Schedule a Call
If you’re ready to take your trade show exhibits to new heights, fill out this form and we’ll contact you shortly.