Choosing the Right Rental Exhibit Furniture

Exhibit Design | Trade Show Rentals
January 4, 2023

A recent design trend has trade show attendees and booth staff singing its praises –  Sitting is in. Standing is out. Not so long ago, exhibition consultants strongly advised clients against trade show rental furniture (or any furniture) in the booth space. Sitting would encourage attendees to linger and booth staff to ignore potential customers. 

Now, it’s unusual not to see rental furniture, like tables, chairs, sofas, and even ottomans, in custom and rental exhibits. Clients are encouraged to linger, charge their phones, and chat. In fact, many exhibitors are adding food and drink options to create a casual and comfortable environment. If you’ve ever attended a European trade show, you know that offering guests something to eat and drink is much more common. 

As you explore your rental furniture options, you just might be surprised by the wide range of contemporary, upscale, and affordable designs. 

Benefits of Rental Exhibit Furniture

So, you’ve decided to add furniture to your booth. First, you’ll need to decide whether to purchase or rent furniture. Both are viable options, depending on your budget and design requirements. 

Purchasing Exhibit Furniture
  • You own it. It’s yours after the show. 
  • Unlimited design options
  • If used multiple times, it’s less expensive than renting
  • Shipping cost and inconvenience
  • Possible damage
  • Possible assembly
  • Initial expense
Exhibit Furniture Rental
  • Lower upfront cost
  • No shipping
  • No damage concerns
  • No assembly
  • Design flexibility from show to show
  • Fewer design options than purchasing
  • More expensive over multiple shows
Some Insider Advice

In the past, many exhibitors would purchase “flat” furniture from IKEA and then abandon it at the end of the show. There are two downsides to this approach. First, the IKEA furniture must be transported from the store to the exhibition hall, delivered to the dock (where material handling fees will apply), and then assembled on the show floor. All are expenses that typically do not apply to rental furniture. Secondly, the abandoned furniture rarely makes it to someone’s home or to a charity. Instead, it’s tossed in the dumpster and then headed to the local landfill. Any company with sustainable policies may want to consider this before purchasing “disposable” furniture.

Exhibit Furniture Rental Options

Rental furniture delivers style and service to create a comfortable and productive space. Below are a few of the most common categories of rental furniture. 

  • Soft Seating – Sofas, Loveseats, and Sectionals
  • Seating Tables – End, Cocktail, and Side Tables
  • Ottomans – Complementary Soft Seating Designs
  • Accessories – Dividers, Pillows, Rugs, Lamps
  • Accent Chairs – Contemporary Fabric and Leather Designs 

  • Bar Tables – 30” R x 42” H Bar Height Tables
  • Group Seating – Affordable, Armless Chairs
  • Conference Tables – Rectangle and Round Conference Tables
  • Conference Chairs – Adjustable Chairs for Desks or Conference Tables
  • Cafe Tables – 30” R x 29” H Casual Tables

  • Office Furniture – Dividers, Desks, Bookcases
  • Bars – Curved Bars with and without Accent Lighting
  • Bar Stools – Bar Height Chairs and Stools 

Examples of Trade Show Rental Furniture

CEBRN-004 | Midtown Bar/Counter, Lighted. Metallic pewter gray curved counter with taupe-colored glass top, charging outlets, and locking storage cabinets. 

CECTN-044 | 10 ft. Powered Table. AC-powered conference table with two 110 outlets and 4 USB ports. Black laminate top and silver base. 

CECHN-013 | Malibu Chair. Distinctive teal velvet chair with armrests and black legs. 

CESSN-073 | Emerald Velvet Curved Loveseat. (2) curved green velvet loveseats with a black frame, channel stitching, and retro vibe. 

CESSN-055 | Chandler Cranberry Sofa. Plus fabric sofa in plum/cranberry color with channel stitching. Coordinates with Chandler matching chair. 

CESTN-019 | Alondra Cocktail Table. A modern cocktail table with a chrome base and glass or wood table top. Coordinates with matching Alondra end table. 

CEACN-017 | Morocco Accent Rugs. An 8 ft. x 10 ft. rug with orange/sienna accent colors. 

CEOTN-056 | Vibe Ottoman. Vinyl cube-shaped ottoman is available in 13 colors, like citrus green, steel blue, and desert rose. 

Important Considerations for Trade Show Furniture Rental

Trade shows, events, and meetings are more productive by creating interactive environments with functional furniture and furnishings. Consider the following with choosing the right rental options:


Rental furniture and furnishings should be functional, attractive, and match the overall design of your booth. Sometimes that’s easy. Sometimes not. For larger shows and popular trade show destinations, like Las Vegas, Orlando, and Chicago, there are multiple rental furniture companies with varied inventories. Work with your exhibit house when choosing your rental furniture. They have resources and contacts that may not be readily available to the typical exhibitor. 


Rental furniture may seem pricey at first glance, but it’s important to remember that you’re paying for convenience, design, and cleanliness. Rental companies update their inventory often and clean them after each show. 


This can vary so always ask for details. Some rental furniture companies have agreements with the General Service Contractor. The agreement enables them to deliver furniture and accessories directly to your booth, often without drayage or material handling fees. That’s a big deal. What may seem to be an amazing price from one rental provider may in fact be painfully expensive once the drayage fee is charged. 

Customer Service

No one wants headaches on the show floor. Most rental furniture companies will respond quickly to issues before and during the show. Stuff happens but how companies respond sets them apart. Be sure to ask your exhibit house about their experience with the rental furniture provider. 

Your Partner for Furniture Rental

No matter the occasion – meeting, convention, trade show, or special event – Exhibits NW  is committed to delivering style and service.  Our rental furniture vendors pride themselves in offering high-quality, next-level collections backed by unparalleled customer service. 

Whether you’re looking for a table, sofa, chairs, or just a trusted partner to ensure your success, contact the Exhibits NW Team so we can help you exceed your trade show goals!

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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.