How to Rent Custom Trade Show Exhibits Without Spending an Arm and a Leg?


A populist myth prevailing among start-up firms and small businesses is that participation in trade shows is investment-driven. What creates this myth is a list of questions that both trade show marketing executives and trade show exhibit builders fail to answer with certainty.

Some of these questions that challenge the possibility of renting trade show exhibits within a small budget are as follows:

For a large enterprise, cost is not an issue and the sky is the limit for getting a fully customized trade show exhibit. But what happens if you are a startup or an emerging business?

How can a small business manage to compete against the bigger players in the industry and still achieve cost advantages in trade show marketing budgets?

Can the expenditure on trade show booth rentals justify the returns from an investment?

What about the financial risks involved in renting custom trade show exhibits and its final balance sheet impact on small businesses?

This whataboutery surrounding custom trade show exhibit rentals has answers. Trade show marketing executives and trade show exhibit designers that have the experience of collaborating on trade shows with a small budget will tell you that it is possible to rent custom trade show exhibits with a small budget.

Here are some effective tips to ensure high impact trade show booths for less.


1 – Pay Only for What You Need

Many of the shelf trade show booths come with a lot of functionalities and features. Imagine if you are to use only 25% of the total features, but end up paying the full cost of the booth rental? It will be a gross injustice to your marketing budget.

Hence make sure to use only those features and functionalities that you actually require during the exhibition. This can be easily accomplished by getting custom trade show exhibits built and deployed at the venue.

Engage with trade show booth designers and explore their portfolio of work done so far. Check if they can deliver what you are looking for. This will help you get the exact set of features that will help power up your trade show marketing objectives.

As opposed to a ready design, the custom booth will be completely personalized to the specific requirement and hence offer more value for every dollar spent on the booth design.


2 – Seek a Pay for Performance Booth Builder

Many times, a booth production agency will provide an estimate for custom trade show exhibits. But, by the time the booth production process is complete, the actual billing will vary far from the initial estimate provides.

This has several disadvantages for the company. If you are working on a tight marketing budget, then not having an idea about the quote before the start of the project will harm your marketing budget.

A second disadvantage will be that this pricing will not remain constant throughout. Hence, you may have to be ready for unforeseen expenses or hidden charges inflating the bill considerably.

It will be wise to have honest pricing that will not fluctuate under any circumstances. This is a USP that very few trade show booth builders can provide here in the US. Such a reliable company will follow open pricing policy. Their estimates will be clear and will remain fixed throughout the execution of the project.


3 – Align Booth Size with your Marketing Budget

In order to get maximum ROI, it is important for a startup to be clear about the size of the booth they want to go for. Usually, these come in various dimensions like 10×10, 20×20, or 30×30. A startup can do well to opt for a smaller dimension for custom trade show exhibits.

By not choosing a large-sized trade show booth, you get to use the space smartly and yet create a memorable impact on visitors’ minds. It will be a wise move to be a bit risk-averse and go tight with your dollar spending. Ask for a small trade show rental booth that matches your objectives.


4 – Go for Reusable Booth Designs

Many organizations make the costly mistake of preparing new trade show booths and exhibition stands for every event. This will not be a great idea from a cost perspective. The focus should be on getting reusable booth designs that serve your needs at multiple trade show events and exhibitions.

Trustworthy booth builders will offer reusable and affordable designs with their custom trade show exhibit. Their value comes from the fact that they will be able to re-do some aspects of the stall components to lend a fresh look overall. This way your annular trade show marketing budget won’t be affected with huge cost outlay for discrete booth exhibits.


5 –Research on Available Booth Designs

In today’s age of internet, it is easy to search for businesses that can cater to your specific requirement. The same goes for trade show booth builders.

Make sure to check out multiple booth designers and then narrow down a good choice based on pre-determined criteria. These criteria can be either the number of reviews or ratings that the company has received for its past work done for its other customers.

With meticulous online research, you don’t have to be solely dependent on the word of the potential vendor. You get a real-world picture of the vendor’s performance on his past projects.


6 –First-Time Participation Calls for Risk AversionBooth Planning

It may look tempting to go for all the bells and whistles when going for a trade show exhibition. However, for a startup that needs to justify every dollar spent on the marketing activity, this might not be an option.

It will make better sense if you bring on-board a capable and experienced custom trade show booth builder. He will assist you with different styles and designs from which you can pick one as per your preference.

A good booth builder will also help augment the design with custom brand imagery and colors. This way, visitors passing by your booth will get a clear idea about what you deal in, and have no hesitation stepping into the booth for a quick peek.


7 – Enable 100% QA

Imagine the disappointment when you realize that the booth design doesn’t match with your initial vision. To avoid such costly iterations and rework it is important to get a demonstration of the custom trade show exhibit.

At a live demo of the installed booth, you can do a 360 degree walk around and examine the booth from every angle. You can check the fabric, color, shade, graphics, and layout of the stall.

This will help you understand if the booth building work is carried out exactly as per your instructions. If you need some tweaks done on the booth design, you can request the booth builder to get it done well ahead of time before the actual event.


8 – Seek On-Ground Support

During the event days, the entire team from your organization will be busy in rehearsing the sales pitch and engaging with interested visitors coming in the stall. As such, it will become difficult to keep aside a team specifically to ensure that all elements of the booth are performing as intended and that there is no damage to the installation.

A reliable booth builder will have the resources to provide on-ground staff support. This staff will be responsible for transportation of the custom trade show rental booth from the warehouse to the trade show venue. It will also take care of proper installation and configuration way before the first visitor steps into the venue.

The staff will also ensure day to day booth management and prevent the materials from wear and tear. This not only brings down the cost of ground support but also ensures that the booth can be reused in other events and trade shows as they are working in top condition.

Lastly, they will also take care of post-show dismantling of the booth and transportation back from the venue.

With these 8 tips, it becomes easy to confidently pitch your products/ services even with the bigger players competing with you at the same event. A thoughtfully crafted custom trade show exhibit will help you create a distinct prominence for your brand in a competitive landscape.

Such innovative designs will give impetus to the visitors to stop and step into the booth to inquire about your business. This will lead to increased footfall and enable the better potential for conversions.