Choosing an Exhibit Rental Company 

Exhibit rental enables companies to stretch their marketing budgets and leverage the benefits of trade show participation without investing in an expensive custom display. Renting also provides a means to test different types and sizes of displays before moving forward with an exhibit purchase.

If a company’s marketing strategy includes exhibiting only once a year, it is more cost-efficient to rent and have graphics produced for the display. Yet, those that attend trade shows on a regular basis should consider investing in a display.

After four shows, the cost for a rental display would likely cover the expense of buying an exhibit, according to Gabriel McIntosh of One Source Exhibits in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, some exhibit companies apply the rental fee toward the purchase of a similar display within a designated time frame.

While there are many display companies that offer exhibit rentals, it is essential to find a quality supplier with a variety of rental options, as well as provides the service, timing and customization you need to accomplish your trade show objectives. Following are key considerations as you evaluate exhibit rental companies.

Experience: For companies you are evaluating, find out how long they have been in business and the experience of the people with whom you will be dealing. This includes employees in the account service, production, and creative departments. Inquire about other clients the company has served (preferably in you industry) and ask for contact information to check at least three references.

Selection: A display rental company should offer you a range of rental service packages, as well as a variety of exhibit styles, sizes and configurations to meet your needs. Ask specific questions about products and services you can expect for the price you’re willing to pay.

Support: When participating in a trade show, always keep "Murphy's Law" in mind so you can plan for the unexpected, advises Jeffrey Clark of Brackley Industries. Only a quality rental company will be able to assure you of reliable back-up in case something does go wrong.

Clark suggests taking the time to learn the details about different levels of support provided by each rental package. "That way, you know exactly what kind of support will be made available to you if and when you need it. This will also let you prepare a better contingency plan yourself." he added.

Flexibility: Since exhibit rental companies usually offer pre-determined packages of display products, services and features, make sure that what is being offered meets your exhibiting requirements. If modifications are required, see if the rental company will accommodate you. If not, find another rental provider that offers more flexibility.

Graphics Expertise: If you need customized graphics produced for your rental display, ask to see photographs (or other visuals) of creative work completed by the in-house design team. Look for appealing, high-impact graphics, easy to read lettering, and a top quality appearance. Also, inquire abut the design process and how the company will work with you to develop the best possible creative treatment for your display.

Logistics: Ask the exhibit rental company about the best way to transport your display to and from the exhibition venue. See if these services are provided for a fee by the company or if you can manage the logistics yourself. In addition, make sure your rental exhibit is easy to install and dismantle.

As you evaluate trade show rental companies, look for companies that provide both quality and value – and have the ability to fully meet your exhibiting needs. This may require talking with a number of companies before you find the right match. Yet, taking the extra time could make the difference between achieving modest trade show results and surpassing your exhibiting goals.


More on Exhibit Rental Options
Advantages of Pop-Up Trade Show Displays
Completing Registration Packet Paperwork
Exhibit Display Choices


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