5 Times You Should Buy a Custom Trade Show Exhibit

March 31st, 2017

When the recession hit in 2008, rental exhibits experienced a significant boost in popularity. Many businesses opted for the lower upfront cost of a rental because they were faced with shrinking marketing budgets and less financial certainty overall. Rental exhibits rightfully remain popular today because they offer the advantage of greater flexibility and lower upfront costs than do custom exhibits. However, purchased trade show exhibits still have quite a bit to offer when it comes to effective trade show marketing. Not only do they offer advantages like total customization, but they can also be less expensive than rentals over the long-term. Here are five times your business might benefit from buying a custom trade show exhibit instead of renting.

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Consider a custom trade show exhibit if you attend more than 3 trade shows a year.

Rental exhibit costs are about a third those of purchasing a custom trade show exhibit. This means that, if you are attending a trade show 3 times or less per year, your total annual costs for exhibiting may be lower than if you had purchased the exhibit. Plus, lower upfront costs make it easier for cash-strapped businesses to enter the trade show world. However, over the long term, custom trade show exhibits are often the most cost effective option for active exhibitors. For example, if you purchase a display, and attend 3 or more trade shows in one year, your display will have paid for itself after that year. Over the course of the next 3-5 years (the average lifespan of an exhibit), your custom display will actually cost you less money than will renting a display for every show. As a result, companies that are active exhibitors attending several shows a year might be able to save money by investing in a custom trade show exhibit. The upfront cost might be more than renting, but the long-term breakdown of expenses will be in their favor.

Experienced exhibitors may benefit from a custom trade show exhibit.

Businesses just starting out in the trade show world often benefit from rental exhibits because they require minimal commitment. A company can attend a trade show or two, find out if exhibiting is for them, and return the rentals without any further obligations. Similarly, rental exhibits make it easier for new businesses to test designs or messaging and get a feel for the type of trade show display that will be most profitable for them. For experienced exhibitors, however, the need for commitment-free exhibiting is much lower. Once you have been exhibiting for a number of years, you typically know which shows work for you, which type of branding and messaging work for you, and, overall, whether or not you wish to continue exhibiting for the next 3-5 years. In these situations, purchasing a custom trade show exhibit might be the best idea. As mentioned above, a custom exhibit can save you money over a rental in the long-term. Plus, when you know which shows you will be attending and what type of branding you want, you can more confidently commit to a certain type of display because you know that the display will meet your needs for the next few years. Issues such as display size, exhibit space rules, and transportation costs will already be determined and, therefore, very easy to account for in the building of your display.

Invest in a custom trade show exhibit if you want to maximize your branding at the trade show.

Customization is extremely important when exhibiting at a trade show. Being able to stand out to attendees in the midst of a busy, loud space among dozens or hundreds of other exhibitors is key to meeting your objectives for the event. Doing so is possible with a rental exhibit. However, if you want complete control over the customization and branding of your display, you may be better off purchasing a custom trade show exhibit. Purchased displays have the distinct advantage of being entirely customizable. From the ground up, you and your exhibit company’s design services determine every detail of the booth. From the size to the shape to the special features and technology it contains, it can be built to reflect your business and your trade show goals. This type of full customization is a smart choice for businesses looking to achieve specific goals or total branding during an event. Plus, the ability to add eye-catching or unusual features (such as lighted flooring) can help you to succeed at attracting the kind of traffic you want at your booth. With a custom display, no one will ever mistake you for a cookie cutter business, and that can help you to keep up with or even get ahead of your competition.

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Custom trade show exhibits make a good choice for stable businesses anticipating minimal change.

Finally, you may want to consider purchasing a custom trade show exhibit if you are a stable business anticipating minimal changes in your size, product lines, or messaging over the next few years. Drastic changes (such as a merger, entirely new product lines, or astronomical growth) may require significant changes to your trade show display. For companies that know big changes are on the horizon, renting for a year or two is sometimes a smart idea. However, companies that plan to keep their messaging, goals, and products generally the same over the next 3-5 years can benefit from the many advantages of a custom trade show exhibit. Any small changes that occur (tweaks in messaging, for example) can easily be accommodated before each trade show, without incurring extensive expenses. Building a custom trade show exhibit can be an exciting and beneficial way to boost the profitability of your trade show presence. If you attend more than 3 trade shows a year, are an experienced exhibitor, wish to maximize your branding, or are a stable business anticipating minimal change over the next few years, you may want to buy a custom trade show exhibit. However, the decision about what type of display to select is an individual one and will require you to take your unique business and needs into account. With the right exhibit company, you can find the right display solution for your needs, whether you end up renting or buying.