Should We Rent or Buy?
At the seminar on systems at EXHIBIT BUILDER EXPO this past May, I learned of a not-so-new way to increase business without expending additional money. The technique, brushed aside and mumbled about but never really examined, has possibilities. There are a smattering of companies doing it and making money: a rental program with in-house inventory. It’s not only applicable to low-cost pop-ups and modular or structural systems, but also for the systems integrated with custom and totally custom exhibits. Once the economics are understood, the concept is extraordinarily logical. It’s been in practice in Europe for so long, they think we’re nuts to “sell exhibits”.
Builders do not sell systems or custom exhibits; builders sell solutions. The booth is merely a marketing aid to promote a client’s products and service. Where is it written, “Exhibitor must own booth?” An exhibit can have impact and prestige without an up-front financial commitment. Both the builder and the client can improve cash flow by spreading exhibit costs over a mutually agreed upon time period. It’s a win-win situation. The client has an exciting exhibit with custom graphics and the builder has an exhibit he can reconfigure and use many, many times, even for the same client. The client can have a new booth for each show, possibly for less than the cost of owning one booth.
The average life of an exhibit is about five years. Prior to each show it is taken out of storage and refurbished, but it is still the “same old booth.” Refurbishing gets expensive and the booth can look its age, which begins to limit and reduce trade show objectives. Renting an exhibit avoids both of the above “expenses.”
A trade show exhibit rental program can cover the gamut of trade show needs from conceptual stages, construction, completion, shipping, handling, drayage, I&D at the show site, supervision, storage, to refurbishing and graphics; everything the builder can do to help the client while helping himself.
The solution is so logical. Keep the inventory and rent it out. The exhibits pay for themselves in no time and they fatten the bottom line. With the imminent opening of the ECC, clients may begin exhibiting in Europe. What better way to make it possible for them to exhibit than a rental program which may just make it possible for them to afford the trip to Europe!