Examining the pros and cons of any business decision helps to assess the situation and come to the right conclusion. It is no different with the choices between buying trade show exhibits and renting them.
Buying trade show exhibits has some benefits, but there may also be some disadvantages that need to be considered as well. It may be possible to get the exhibit design you want without actually buying display items in some cases, but this is not always true. Understanding the pros and cons of making this type of purchase can help you make the right decision.
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Buying Trade Show Exhibits versus Renting
Pro: One of the advantages of buying trade show exhibits is that you will own the items permanently. After the initial payment, you will not have to pay for the item every time you want to use it. Since you own the exhibits, you can use them whenever they are needed, without paying a rental fee for doing so.
Con: The exhibit design that you choose for your display is one that you will have to stick with for a while, unless you want to go to the expense of buying another exhibit. When you rent you can choose different items for each event, but when you own the display materials you may feel stuck with the same design show after show.
Pro: Buying trade show exhibits can offer tax advantages. The cost of the display is usually a tax deductible business expense, and that means you could pay less in taxes when you make this type of purchase. You could end up with considerable tax savings as a result of buying the items that you want instead of renting them. Always check with your tax consultant first to determine any tax deductions.
Con: If you are buying trade show exhibits instead of renting them then you have to worry about any damage that occurs during shipping and use. When you rent instead of making a purchase, the rental contract may provide insurance or a waiver for any damage that occurs while you are using the display components.
Pro: Buying trade show exhibits can cost less per show over the life of the display than renting will. This is especially true if your exhibit design is unusual or elaborate. If you plan on showing at numerous events each year then the cost of a unique and one of a kind exhibit will be worth the expense of making the purchase instead of renting.
Con: If you plan on buying trade show exhibits then you will need to come up with a lot more money up front. If you have a smaller budget and you are looking at displays that cost many thousands of dollars renting can be a more economical choice in this situation. Rentals often have a much lower initial cost.
Pro: If you have been buying trade show exhibits, then over time you will become very familiar with the set-up of the components. Eventually you may be able to go without professional help and set up your exhibits on your own. With a rental this may not be possible because you may have a different display every time you attend a trade show. Many convention centers require union labor. Check with your venue about the details of setting up your trade show exhibit.
Con: There is not much flexibility with the exhibit design that will be used for successive shows. After you buy the desired displays and exhibit components these will be used repeatedly. When you rent a booth and related items you can change things up for every event so that you get a new look and fresh appeal every single time.
Pro: You can create a customized display that reflects your company, your brand, and your goals perfectly by buying trade show exhibits. This may not be possible if you are using rented items, because the customization options that you have available may be very limited. Rental booths will be used by other customers in the future
Con: Even the best exhibit design with a display purchase usually will not allow you to take advantage of turnkey exhibiting. Rental companies may offer turnkey services, setting up everything and handling every detail. All you have to do is show up at the event and start your marketing and sales.
What other pros and cons can you think of when buying trade show exhibits?