Is It Better To Buy Or Rent A Trade Show Booth?


The age long contention in the world of trade show exhibiting is about whether or not it is better to rent or buy a booth. Most people are already on one side of the divide and do not need much convincing. If you are undecided, you can look at this analysis of renting vs buying a booth.


Renting your booth essentially means that you pay a sum for a booth made from existing booth materials and you use it for a specific time frame. Generally, it is better for you if you are on a tight budget. It is also restricted in terms of its custom trade show booth design. But there are a host of other advantages and disadvantages.


  • You can easily change your booth branding: If your business is about to change its branding, then a rental booth is best for you. This is because the booth you rent is no longer with you after use. Compare this with a purchased booth that you have to stick with for years.
  • Gives the required flexibility when attending multiple show: If your brand is attending multiple trade shows within a short period of time, an exhibition booth rental would serve. Instead of worrying about moving one booth to different locations, you can just easily rent booths at those locations.
  • No Maintenance Liabilities: With rental booths, you do not incur maintenance related costs like transportation, storage and drayage.


  • Limited Customization: There is only so much of a custom trade show booth design you can do with a trade show rental booth. This is because rental booths are made from existing booth materials.
  • Minor Wear and Tear: Exhibiting companies make rental booths from materials that have been used over and over. As a result, you should expect a bit of wear and tear in the booth.


Buying a booth involves getting a custom trade show booth design that remains yours indefinitely. It is generally ideal for businesses with a larger budget.


  • Ideal for Multiple Shows if there is no need to change the design: You can use a purchased trade show booth for a lot of shows if there is no need to change the design of the booth. This would be ideal if you don’t attend a lot of trade shows.
  • Cost Effective in the Long Run: For instance, when you buy a booth for $100,000, you can use it for about 3 to 4 years. But if you rent three booths in a year at $30,000 each, you spend virtually the same amount.


  • Maintenance Expenses: With purchased booths, you get to spend on expenses like transportation, storage and even repairing the booth. This maintenance usually costs about 3% to 5% of the booth value after every trade show.
  • It can drill a hole in your pocket if you have a small budget: If you are on a tight trade show budget, purchasing a booth would be expensive. This is because purchased booths are usually about three times the cost of rental booths.

Now that you have seen the pros and cons of rental and purchased booth, which should you choose? It would be best if you use a hybrid system where you get the best of both worlds.