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Your Dilemma Answers: How do you rent a look?

May 6, 2010 By Editor

Our exhibit program is all rentals all the time. We’ve minimized shipping and eliminated storage by renting from show management, but our look is different at every event, sometimes significantly. How can we maintain continuity from show to show if we continue this practice? Would renting from an exhibit house for all our shows be a better option?

— Daphne, Conference and Tradeshow Coordinator


The question isn’t how but from whom

Daphne, many companies rent for the same reason you do — cost savings. But sometimes, renting can come at a higher price than you can afford — a loss of your brand.

Still, you can reap the benefits of renting and maintain your look, if you:

Make renting from venues work for you

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Renting from show management can save you money. But how you do avoid the downside of identity loss?

An anonymous reader provides some simple steps for you to follow.

“Ask all the venues for a list of the exhibits they rent in your size category. Try to rent the same or similar one each time you go to that particular venue.

“Make all the artwork for the booth yourself, and have it produced in the sizes that fit the different booths you rent. Never change your logo or the colors in your artwork. This way, it will be obvious to those who attend different shows and see you that it’s the same company, just with a different, yet similar, look.”

Go the do-it-yourself route

You go to different shows, you have different kinds of visitors, and you need different graphics for them. Why not use a kit?

An anonymous reader is a big fan of rental kits, and she explains why.

“Consider renting a ‘kit’ from an exhibit house. A rental kit — made up of standard pieces in standard sizes — enables you to switch out graphics and reconfigure booth properties while maintaining brand identity from show to show.

“If you estimate the time it takes to repeat the rental process for each show you go to, a kit could help you save up to 32 days a year you’d otherwise spend planning your booth (eight hours a show x 32 shows)! The time you save on not having to evaluate rental pieces for each show should justify any shipping costs you might incur.”

Pick a partner, and stick with it

If you don’t want to deal with show management at multiple venues, and simply switching out graphics isn’t enough for you, maybe it’s time to consider a third option — renting from one exhibit house.

Mimi Peckham, senior account executive, MC² Las Vegas, discusses the advantages of having one partner and how to make the most of your relationship.

“Renting most, if not all, properties from one exhibit house saves on storage costs and helps you maintain your brand. You can even add additional custom rental properties, as needed, and keep them in the house’s client rental inventory.

“Some steps you should take to keep a consistent look when working with an exhibit house:

  1. Determine your booth size at each show.
  2. Develop a program that utilizes standardized properties you can rent from an exhibit house, preferably one with several divisions near some of the show venues. This way, you can bank off existing rental properties at each division and possibly save on shipping. Plus, you’ll only have to ship the custom-designed properties from the main exhibit division, where these are kept.
  3. Rent properties from an exhibit house that can transship to other venues on your schedule to help hold down transportation costs.
  4. Design a program that utilizes standard-sized graphics, demo kiosks, reception counters, etc. Keep several sizes in mind when you do this (10×10, 10×20, 20×20, 20×30, etc.).
  5. Rent furniture, carpet and pad from the GC to save on transportation costs. (Renting these items from the GC includes the price of delivery/pickup and installation/dismantle, and you get a new carpet each time, a good idea since it won’t look worn or cut from where electrical wiring is pulled through.)

“Renting from a single exhibit house for all shows is definitely the way to go. Once you’ve designed and developed your program, you should realize significant savings, and the overall look and feel of the exhibit will be consistent.”

Daphne, as you can see, renting doesn’t have to hurt your brand. Whether you use customized artwork with venue rentals, get a rental kit to adapt your booth to different venues or count on one exhibit house, you can make renting work for you. 








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