There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to creating your trade show booth, and the question of renting or purchasing a booth is common for most vendors. To help you decide which route is best for your company, you must understand the difference between a custom-designed booth and a rental booth and how they work for different types of companies. Let’s dive in.



If you’re new to the trade show industry or don’t plan on attending many shows this season, consider renting a trade show booth to cut costs. A rental trade show booth will have a professional image and an engaging display at a budget-friendly price. Most rental booths are similar in design as they serve to fit every company’s basic needs. Thus they will lack personalization and will require more effort on your part.

However, adding a few branded signages and product displays will quickly spruce up your booth. Remember that while you might not have a unique trade show booth at the show, it’s still an excellent and cost-efficient way to break into the industry without committing to the cost of purchasing a custom booth.



A custom-designed booth is yours to keep for the entire trade show season and years to come. You will have control over every aspect of the booth, from the color schemes to the added features and any creative ideas you’d like to bring to life. Most importantly, this booth will encompass your company’s brand colors, logos, and graphics. The upfront cost is significantly higher for a custom-designed booth, so you’d have to plan and dedicate a larger portion of your budget towards it.

Custom booths are more common for larger companies that attend many trade shows or those with an established brand who wish to stand out from the competition. It’s best to always work with an experienced exhibit house and design team to bring your vision to life and ensure professional quality.



A blend of both might be ideal if your company has an established brand but does not wish to own a booth due to other factors (outlined below). A custom rental booth will allow you to have the freedom to customize aspects of your booth to your brand while saving you both time and money. You can also choose to switch out booth “accessories” from show to show to test out which method will help attract more customers to your booth.

While it may seem like there are only two options to choose from when deciding on your trade show booth, there are many other factors to consider, such as:


1. How much notice do you have when setting up for a trade show?

It takes time to create a custom-designed booth. You have to consider the amount of time to research design options, send in the requests, work with the design teams, proof the product, and finally ship and deliver. It’s not something that can be done in a short timeframe. Therefore, if you are in a crunch for time, it’s best to stick with a rental option.

2. Do you have enough storage space or proper transportation?

Owning your trade show booth is excellent until the season is over and you have to put it away for a few months. The bigger and more customized your booths are, the harder it is to store the booths without damaging them. Consider if you have the storage space or the budget to cover those fees during the offseason. Additionally, you’d need to consider different options to transport the booth from show to show. A rental booth will alleviate some of the post-show stress for you and your team.

3. What is your budget for the season?

Ultimately, your most significant deciding factor will be your budget. Consider how many shows you will attend, how often you will use the booth, and how prominent you want to be seen at shows before deciding on buying or renting a booth. Or sometimes, it’s best to do both if you only need certain aspects of the booth customized.

Work with an Experienced Exhibit House

Whether you choose to buy or rent, the place you get your trade show booth from matters. You want to work with an experienced exhibit house with quality products and great design options. Exhibit Options is here to help. We can help you weigh the pros and cons of renting versus buying and then help you choose and design the right trade show booth for your needs. Reach out to our team today to learn more about our products and our rental options, and decide how you want to be prepared for your next trade show experience.