Bringing your own gear to a show isn’t easy

If you attend trade shows and conventions regularly, you might notice that if you look around, almost every exhibit looks the same. Most trade show booths are comprised of a simple booth with a large, colorful banner emphasizing the company’s name and logo.

Why do companies have exhibit booths at trade shows and conventions? 72% of trade show exhibitors are looking to attend trade shows in the interest of obtaining new leads. Another 88% of trade show participants attend these shows to raise awareness of their company’s brand.

So if the goal is to turn heads, raise awareness, and get new customers to stop at your booth – why do the majority of booths look the same? The answer is simple – Bringing your own equipment to a trade show isn’t as easy as it seems. Imagine trying to fit a projector screen, a large display, a kiosk, all of the above, or more onto your flight at the airport. That wouldn’t work, would it? The next option is to rent a van (or use a company van), but now you’re stuck with fuel costs, additional traveling costs, worrying about if you packed everything, and taking the risk of damaging company products due to inexperience with traveling, unloading, and setting up trade show booths.

Trade show display rentals

Consider these questions before you decide whether to rent or purchase your equipment:

  • How many shows do you exhibit per year?
  • Does your company exhibit at multiple shows at the same time?
  • Do you want flexibility in the look and feel of your exhibit from show to show?
  • Are you tech-savvy enough to handle setup and troubleshooting?
  • How much time is there until your event?
  • Do you want to avoid paying taxes on your booth equipment?

If you’re looking to create a memorable experience without risking the liability of traveling with your own materials, renting your trade show booth equipment is a great solution. The right rental company will work with you to show you which type of booth and equipment aligns best with your goals and budget. Let’s look into the pros of rental trade show displays and the cons of bringing your own gear.

Rental Trade Show Displays

You wouldn’t purchase a car you were only going to use for a few months, so why would you buy technology you’re only going to use a few times at various trade shows or conventions? That’s why renting trade show booth displays and other equipment makes sense. While sometimes companies rent equipment for budgetary reasons, renting technology makes sense for most situations – and this is especially true for trade show displays.

Generic, one-size-fits-all displays are a thing of the past. You won’t attract customers with a basic rental that most companies could set up without the help of an experienced technician and/or rental company. Here’s why renting equipment for your trade show booth or convention exhibit makes the most sense:

They allow for flexibility and customization. Although you won’t be building your booth from the ground up by renting your equipment, these new rental units offer a lot of customization. Even the most affordable kiosks, booths, and charging stations allow certain levels of customization like incorporating your brand’s logo and colors and adding attractive elements like touch screens and videos.

Make sure you communicate with your rental company the level of customization you’re looking for and ask them about any changes you’re allowed to make to their rental products by yourself. The best companies will not only deliver but also set up your customized equipment for you so there are no problems or gaps in communication.

You can switch up the design from show to show. Since you can rent different pieces of equipment for each show and customize them in different ways, you can always keep your booth looking fresh and exciting.

Whether you’re looking to experiment with additional equipment, change up your branding, or try out different marketing strategies, renting technology gives you free rein over the product selection, placement, and branding. For example, you can rent different digital signage, AV equipment, lighting, podiums, pipe and drape, booths, iPad kiosks, charging kiosks, sanitizing stations, video walls with different elements, touch screens, monitors, and more.

You’ll have someone else deliver, set up, and tear down your equipment. Once your trade show, convention, or business gathering is over all you have to do is hand the equipment back to your rental provider depending on the method of your choosing. Since set up and tear down is available at most venues in the United States, you’ll just have to make sure you get your equipment into the hands of the right technician.

You won’t pay for maintenance, storage, or product replacement. As long as your equipment finds its way back to your rental provider, you won’t pay any additional fees like storage and maintenance. Since you aren’t purchasing the equipment, you don’t have to worry about where you’re going to store it or how much that will cost. Additionally, since it isn’t your equipment to keep, you don’t have to budget for maintenance, repair, or replacement costs.

Instead of paying for storage, maintenance, and additional equipment, with a rental you can put these funds toward marketing, brand graphics, and other customizable elements.

Real Example: A large insurance company owns about 100 laptops that sit in storage the entire year until Hurricane season. Once a hurricane is imminent, one person from the company has to pull between 50-100 laptops from the shelf, clean them, test them, and do all of the software updates (Windows, browser, antivirus, etc). Then the same person is tasked with distributing these laptops to various branches around the country as quickly as possible. Considering the cost of buying, storing, and configuring these laptops, this insurance company could have saved a lot of time and money with a technology rental. On top of that, if they had used someone like, the laptops would’ve been deployed much quicker than shipping them all from a single location.

Rental equipment is typically less expensive for a small number of events. If you only exhibit at trade shows and conventions a few times a year, it can be far more cost-effective to rent your booth equipment. As mentioned above, this gets you out of storage, maintenance, product replacement, delivery, and return costs.

They can be a good option if you’re short on time. Customizing and building your own trade show booth or exhibit is time-consuming since they are typically created from scratch. If you’ve decided to attend a trade show last-minute (or often times last month or last quarter) a rental exhibit may be your best (and possibly only) option.

Avoid the hassle and stress of setting up your own booth. If you aren’t regularly setting up and tearing down trade show booths and the equipment that goes along with them, you aren’t going to be efficient in completing these tasks. In fact, you might even find yourself dreading each show either because of the amount of work you have to put in setting up and tearing down equipment or due to the struggle of getting everything set up properly without damage and working properly without technical issues.

Avoid taxes and capital expenses. Did you know if you rent equipment for your business it can be tax deductible? Current tax laws don’t allow the vast majority of capital expenditures to be tax-deducted for the year in which the expenditures occur. But with a rental, you have the option to get around these tax regulations.

Even if you are regularly setting up and tearing down booths, rental equipment can provide you with more options than you have with purchasing your own equipment. After all, most businesses don’t have a need for charging kiosks, video walls, or projection displays outside of exhibiting at trade shows and conventions.

Exhibitor Center

As travel restrictions ease we are expected to continue seeing a resurgence of the events industry for the foreseeable future. As there is a pent-up demand for a return to normalcy for event-goers, exhibitors, and event professionals alike – let’s look into what we can expect to see in the rest of 2022 for the meetings and events industry.

Are you looking to get more potential customers to an event to see your trade show booth? There are a variety of ways to generate leads, educate prospects and customers, build brand awareness, upsell customers, and increase event attendance. Check out these tips for improving your event marketing strategy in order to boost attendance.

At the end of the day, the decision to rent or purchase your own exhibiting equipment is up to you, but we highly recommend trying rentals first if you:

Are a new business. If you haven’t exhibited before, don’t know how long your company is going to be in business, or don’t know when you’ll need another trade show booth, we highly recommend trying a rental first. New businesses are operating under tight budgets, but when you rent equipment you’ll free up funds for other exhibiting elements like marketing collateral and giveaways. On top of that, renting a trade show booth gives you the flexibility to test the waters with different configurations, technology, graphics, and designs.

Your company exhibits at two locations simultaneously. If your company needs to be in more than one place at a time, attending simultaneous events, it makes sense to rent your exhibiting equipment. Not only will you not have to worry about lugging around your company equipment, but you can also have a certain level of consistency in your brand marketing by choosing the same materials for both shows.

You want to test a new upgrade. Does a video wall really bring everyone to your booth? Are people really excited about custom-branded sanitizing stations? If you haven’t tried it out, you won’t know. This is a great time to consider technology rentals.

Your company outgrew its old trade show booth. Similar to testing new upgrades, if you want to start testing out new products and are still in the planning stages of a new booth, consider a technology rental. Remember, you’re never faced with refurbishment or aging booths.

You don’t want to be tied down. Do you want a huge exhibit at one event, but only need a small booth at another? Why purchase all of the equipment for the huge event if you can save money renting?  Of course, this works especially well if you only exhibit a few times a year. On top of that, you won’t be tied to a single structure for more than one show.

You only do a few shows a year. If your company only exhibits at a few events per year, renting your trade show equipment is most likely a more cost-effective method than purchasing it. With the cost of renting equipment along with not having to incur costs of storage and insurance, you can easily exhibit at a handful of shows per year and still save money by renting your equipment rather than buying it. Always keep in mind that purchasing your exhibit equipment comes with additional costs such as storage, insurance, eventual refurbishment or replacement, and even surveillance to keep your storage room secure. – A Trusted Rental Partner

Are you looking for a technology rental provider that you can trust? has been in business for over 30 years – and we can back that up with positive reviews on Google, referrals from our accounting executives and certificates of insurance for events of all sizes, and educated employment of technicians.

Tech Travel Agent Randy MooreWhen you rent from us, you not only get the best equipment but also top-of-the-line support from qualified tech travel agents with years of experience in the technology rental and event production field. Our agents coordinate all the logistics of delivery and installation and can have techs on call to troubleshoot and fix any problems that may arise with your rental technology. Our account manager Randy Moore specializes in exhibitor rentals like displays, kiosks, event engagement rentals, laptops, tablets, smartphones, internet hotspots, accessory rentals, and much more. Randy will gladly handle any questions you may have in regards to rentals to make your event exhibition easier. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a fast, easy online quote form today.

Visit our PC & AV Rental Pricing Factors page to find out about our pricing estimates.

Do you need help setting up your trade show booth, convention exhibit, stage, or other display? Since has been doing business in the events industry for so long, our technology travel agents are experienced in dealing with a variety of events from small to large and can assist you with a variety of equipment rentals and marketing options that come with them. Just request a fast, easy rental quote and one of our representatives will get back to you shortly via the communication method of your choice.

Our technicians handle everything from configuration and testing to delivery, set up, troubleshooting, tear down, and returns. Get a quote for your event technology rental needs today. Contact us today for a hassle-free exhibit rental.

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