Hello ECN readers and welcome back to the TradeShow Teacher column. This month we’ll be learning about the advantage of rental displays. I hope you will find this month’s lesson about informative. You may possibly even find it surprising and change some perceptions you have about rentals. So let’s go right to it.
Historically, an exhibitor’s most likely experience with rentals has been due to last resort options when their own display didn’t arrive, or suddenly, they needed to simultaneously exhibit at overlapping shows. This is not surprising, since in the old days, rental offerings were very basic, not terribly attractive and did not offer exhibitors many opportunities to accurately portray their company’s image.
Things have changed quite a bit since then. Rental offerings are now stylish and customizable, offering wide varieties of creative options. The modern marvels of new digital printing and manufacturing processes mean that exhibitors can stylize and design rental displays to accurately depict the style and branding of their company. Those technical improvements have been the driving force behind the rental display’s transformation and dramatically increased usage. Vendors now have entire divisions dedicated to rentals and warehouses full of options.
As you continue reading, keep in mind that renting displays will not suit every company. This lesson is by no means designed to convince you that rentals are now the exhibit display option of choice. I just want to make sure you have enough information about the changes in the rental industry and the benefits they offer. Chances are, you already have enough experience with purchased displays to know their Pros and Cons. Knowing the facts about rental displays will now give you the ability to make an informed decision about the direction that best suits your company.
Top 10 Reasons for selecting a rental display
1. As products and company branding continuously evolve, using rentals allows your company to keep up with these changes, without having to spend money on an entire new display all at once.
2. When renting a display, costs are reduced by not having the responsibilities of owning the display. Items such as maintenance, insurance, storage, refurbishment, handling and disposal are not factors that need to be applied to the budget.
3. If you will be exhibiting at your first trade show, or entering a new market where you will need a different look and messaging, rentals are a great option. Giving yourself firsthand experience, you will learn whether tradeshow exhibiting, or entering the new market is a good fit for your company. You can also compare the variety of displays and styles dominantly used and make future display selections.
4. When you have simultaneous shows to exhibit at, the investment of purchasing an entire new display is not cost effective. By renting, you are able to exhibit in two places at the same time.
5. Using smaller amounts of budget dollars over an extended period of time benefits to the balance sheet for the company by having more available cash for other activities. Besides, rentals are viewed as expenses for tax purposes.
6. If a company wants to make a big impression by having a sizeable display, but doesn’t have the budget dollars available, renting a display fitting the desired size only costs a fraction of purchasing.
7. If your exhibit property is substantial in size and you decide to exhibit at a show requiring smaller floor space, renting a display for this potentially one-time occurrence can be a wise choice.
8. A nightmare scenario for exhibit managers is showing up at the booth space and finding it empty. After all the frantic calls to locate the display have confirmed that it will not be making its appearance at the show, it’s time to obtain a rental. Tip: Always bring a digital copy of the graphic files for your booth to each show as part of a contingency plan.
9. Some display companies offer you the rent-to-buy option so you can confirm whether or not this display style positively suits your market and branding requirements. Select a vendor that is willing to apply the rental costs towards the purchase.
10. International exhibiting is a great reason for renting a display in the host city. The cost savings are significant and eliminate a great deal of shipping, customs and all sorts of other paperwork.
If you are unfamiliar with rental displays, take time to educate yourself on the new styles and rental options. Also, investigate general pricing, typical rental procedures and the attributes of a quality rental. You never know when you may need one! Instead of learning the hard way through an emergency situation, learn this information now to be prepared if a rental need pops up later.
Thank you once again for taking the time to read the TradeShow Teacher column. Having spent this time thinking about rental displays makes me wonder when display companies will start offering time share purchases of displays. Bye for now, it’s time for me to plan my next lesson.
About Linda Musgrove, the TradeShow Teacher
Linda Musgrove is president of the Trade Show Training firm, TradeShow Teacher. She focuses on teaching companies to significantly improve Tradeshow results through strategic, customized training. Training options include phone consulting, webinars, seminars and one-on-one coaching. Musgrove authored “The Complete Idiots Guide to Trade Shows,” published by Alpha Books/Penguin Publishing. Learn more at http://www.tsteacher.com and sign up for the free monthly Trade Show Tactics newsletter. Follow her on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tsteacher.
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