Renting vs. Buying Trade Show Booths


For many brands and companies, attending a trade show, conference, or industry event is a must-do. After all, it accomplishes quite a few business goals in a concentrated time period—successful companies leave trade shows with new contacts, leads, sales, and wholesale connections.

Planning your company’s exhibition for a trade show requires an organized team, creative collaboration, and a strong sense of brand identity. At the center of it all lays your display booth; it’s the foundation upon which you will build your entire marketing strategy for the event.

As one of America’s leading custom event booth services, we’re often asked what we think is better: renting or owning a trade show booth. We think that both have their merits, depending on how frequently you exhibit, what your budget is, and the nature of your industry.

Unsure of whether to rent or buy your booth for your next trade show? We’ve sorted out a few pros and cons of each to help you decide:





Marketing is a fluid business. Before you choose between buying or renting your display, ask yourself and your team how soon will the company be rebranding? A change in logo, color, or campaign strategy can seriously affect the way you choose to present yourself at an expo or trade show. If you own your booth, it will always look the same. If you rent your booth, it’s only for that one particular event.

The next time you have a trade show to attend, you’ll have the opportunity to create another one that reflects where your brand currently is.

Do you work in an industry that’s constantly evolving? Though designing a booth to own allows for plenty of modern technology, we don’t know how long those aspects will seem innovative. After all, a trade show is the time for you and your industry peers to show how innovative your brands are. Don’t squander it on obsolete-seeming booths!

To avoid your display looking dated, go for a rental. By hiring your display booths, your exhibition has the chance to be modern and fresh each and every time.


Going with a rental company affords for all sorts of exciting marketing and design opportunities. For example, you could hire two 10×20 booths to create a larger space at your next expo, which can help to ensure that more attendees are exposed to your brand.

Similarly, your company could attend two trade shows in different parts of the country on the same day by hiring two small, budget-friendly rentals.

Every trade show is different. Some are held in massive expo centers, while others might have certain restrictions, rules, or regulations in order to safely run a large show. By renting your booth, you can customize your display to work with the showing you’re planning to attend.

Customizable turnkey booths are the best of both worlds: They allow for flexibility and growth while still reflecting your brand, mission, and vision. A reputable expo company should have plenty of options for customizing a rental with specialty graphics, colors, and furniture.



As with any kind of rental, when you hire a display booth, it’s not brand new. However, good rental company will maintain and look after their booths to avoid any issues.

Once your trade show is over, you’ll have to say goodbye to your beautiful booth. Furthermore, not owning your display could mean that certain customizations aren’t possible.





By investing in a display booth, your team has the freedom to customize it however you please. It will also be at your disposal whenever you need it.

Does your company frequently show at expos? It might make sense for you to invest in buying a booth outright, especially if many of your shows are in the same part of the country.

When you buy a customized trade show booth, you are committing to one design. From a marketing standpoint, that can be very good. If you are a frequent exhibitor, having a consistent and well-branded booth can lead to increased brand recognition from your attendees.


With a rental, you don’t have to worry about repairing broken fixtures, dead circuits, or chipped paint. When you own your display, these problems are your responsibility.

Chances are, your office doesn’t have space to safely store a large trade show booth. After your expo, it will need to go somewhere, which can end up eating further into your budget than you may have expected.

As your brand grows, and your industry changes and fluctuates, your creative team might want to engage in new marketing trends. Unfortunately, if you own your booth, that can prove difficult. Changing an already-customized display isn’t easy. Chances are, you’ll forego the innovative new marketing technique you wanted to try in lieu of blowing your budget on modifying your booth.

Buying and customizing a booth outright is an investment, and it’s built to last. If you plan on changing your branding or image, it might not make sense to own your booth. It can throw a wrench in the works when, after a rebrand, you want to show at an expo.


Once you’ve made up your mind between renting or owning your booth, Exponents can assist you with your trade show needs. We offer turnkey custom booth rentals at any budget, and always take our client’s briefs and needs to heart.

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