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Renting a Tradeshow Booth Is Almost Always Better

interactive trade show booth designed and built for Parcus

We might ruffle some feathers with this one: You should never buy a tradeshow booth. In fact, we usually recommend renting a tradeshow booth.

Okay, okay, maybe never isn’t the right word. But it definitely shouldn’t be the first step in your trade show journey. It just doesn’t make the most sense for the majority of our customers.

Our Golden Rules For Booth Buying

Here’s some golden rules to live by when it comes to buying a booth:

  1. You will use this booth at least 4 times a year
  2. You know the trade shows that you’ll be attending
  3. Your audience will be at the tradeshows
  4. You have proven successful at these tradeshows already

(Psst: If you need help understanding what a successful tradeshow really looks like, refer to our blog here: “Exhibiting your best”)

This seems like a lot of really specific rules, but truly, we’re just looking out for you. Exhibiting isn’t a small marketing expense; it comes with a huge budget, which has the opportunity for an even larger ROI, but only when it’s done properly. Otherwise, you run the risk of just wasting money. 

Don’t Make This Mistake

We’ve seen this before with a company who hadn’t ever exhibited before and wanted to buy a booth. They were so certain of their choice and their concept that they refused our input and suggestions. They refused renting and wouldn’t deviate from the concept in their mind, but they had a huge problem: the theme wasn’t tested, and they only had one trade show lined up. 

The outcome? The show was a colossal flop. It was the wrong audience, the concept didn’t land, and they spent $250k + logistics + show services + storage + disposal fees. That’s a big price tag for a mistake.

Why is Buying such a Risk?

Booths can get old & stale over time, so if you’ve bought one and you aren’t updating it, you’re reducing the experience for your customers because you’re not providing them a journey to grow with you, instead, you’re just a stick in the mud, another booth on the tradeshow floor that showed up without a plan and isn’t getting many interactions. 

Renting a Tradeshow Booth is Superior for Most Exhibitors

Renting a booth is superior in so many ways but primarily because it reduces your financial commitment, especially when trying to redefine your tradeshow strategy. If you aren’t having success at shows, or want to try a lot of options, having a modular, reconfigurable booth to take with you and test out is more financially savvy than one massive booth that could be a huge flop. 

Not only that, but owning a booth requires maintenance, storage and upkeep fees that your company likely isn’t equipped to deal with, and let’s be honest, probably doesn’t want to figure out the logistics to it. 

But maybe you’re having a hard time justifying it or the numbers just still aren’t making sense, don’t worry, here’s the example for what could have been for the “big flop” company.

If they rented:

Remember, the original price tag was $250,000

For $125k, they could have done a booth rental. They could have gone to their one planned show, tested it, realized it didn’t work, pivoted their ideas, and had $175k leftover to use towards other ideas. 

Don’t let this be you! We want to see our clients through to success which is why we focus on our 5-part framework

And also, why we maintain that renting a tradeshow booth is (almost) ALWAYS better.

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