Every pound counts. That’s true everywhere, but especially relevant in today’s competitive business environment, where success is measured by the figure on the bottom line.

Marketing managers are expected to produce more results with fewer resources, making it essential that every pound spent is being utilised to its best advantage. To be successful, upper management evaluates exhibitions and corporate events on their ability to produce a positive and measurable return.

Exhibitions have proven to be effective in achieving sales and marketing objectives, but they also command a significant share of the average marketing budget.

The fixed expenses related to exhibitions and events can be expensive. Exhibition space accounts for over 30% and show services require another 20% of the overall spend.  So savvy managers are forced to look to the remaining variable expenses to save money: including staff travel and entertainment, promotion, and increasingly, display properties.

NHS Exhibition Stand

The changing role of Display Stands

The display stand used to be sufficient to meet a company’s goals and objectives but that has changed. Public demand for more interaction at live events means the display now serves as the environment for expressing your brand and facilitating the sales process. Your stand acts as a silent ambassador, conveying your corporate image while supporting the face-to-face efforts of your sales team to communicate with prospects and customers.

While the stand is important, it is no longer the only element necessary to have a successful exhibition. As such, the proportion of the budget consumed by the display comes under scrutiny. If there is a way to reduce the cost of the display –while getting the same benefits and results from its use – additional resources could be freed up to pay for other, equally vital aspects of your exhibition.

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to ensure you had a dynamic, effective display, your only option was to purchase a custom display. If you wanted to reduce costs by renting a display, you had to make do with generic, one-size-fits-all, often unimaginative displays. This luckily is no longer true.

Today’s top stand producers are offering rental displays that are fresh, dynamic, compelling to visitors and customised to meet your unique needs. Now exhibitors can enjoy all of the benefits of custom design impact – effective brand communication, and functionality – and still save money.

Hire or buy an exhibition stand: What’s Right For My Company?

While the desire to save money may be universal, each company has their

own unique set of criteria for their decision-making process. Three common factors affect the decision-making process. They constitute the constraints under which all programs must function. They are performance, time and cost.

Only after carefully considering these factors will you be able to determine if hiring a display stand or buying a display is the best option for your company.


Display performance is defined by your design requirements and frequency of use. Your event program may require different configurations to suit different space sizes or alterations to target different audiences. These are not always efficiently achieved with the purchase of a single display. Rental displays often use light-weight modular components which are best suited to being rearranged to form unique design solutions. They provide you with the freedom to meet event specific requirements.

Your company may be interested in test marketing a new product or entering a new market. Renting a display offers you the ability to undertake these opportunities with minimal financial obligation.

Your company may own a smaller display for use at multiple shows but take a larger space for that once-a-year national event. A one-time rental may be just what you need whether it’s a whole new display or elements to expand your existing display stand such as reception desks, interactive kiosks, audio visual presentations, or even storage.

If your company is new to Exhibitions, renting your display is a low-cost way to

enter a new marketing medium. Why not experience a trial run before committing to a display purchase? Some companies may allow you to apply a portion of the rental cost towards a purchase. Exhibition stands rent for about 25-30% of their purchase price. So, if you don’t plan to use the same display at least three times in an annual fiscal year, it usually makes sense to rent.


Major company purchases are passing through 4-5 key decision makers. Even when the budget is approved and a supplier selected, there may not be time for the production of a purchased display. Because rental displays are designed using repeatable components already in inventory, the time to produce a display is significantly reduced.

Your company may book a new event on short notice when existing display stands are already committed. Or you may have events scheduled too close to risk shipping your display from one event to the next. A rental display can quickly fill your temporary resource “gap.”


Displays are viewed as a variable expense that effects bottom line financials. Consider your company’s preferences for how costs are recorded. Ask yourself:

1: Does my company prefer to retain its cash and appear more profitable to its shareholders?

2: Would my company prefer to add a display as an asset to its balance sheet which may be depreciated over its useful life (typically 3 to 5 years)?

3: Will it be difficult for me to secure approval for a one-time capital expenditure to purchase a display?

Companies that prefer to retain their cash rather than making a capital investment will see the financial benefits of renting a display. Reducing your operating expenses by renting a display can free up funds to be used on other areas of the exhibition marketing.

In some cases, display rentals are bundled together as a turnkey or all-inclusive package. Purchasing some or all your services from a single source may enable you to realise additional discounts. Turnkey solutions may include customised design rendering, graphic production, structures, lighting, delivery, installation, flooring, and electrics.

Even greater savings can be achieved on transportation when you rent a display in the city in which it will be used.

And finally, rental displays offer savings by eliminating all ownership costs. Those often “hidden” costs may include monthly storage, in and outbound inspection, repairs, refurbishment, upgrades and disposal.


There are many factors to consider when choosing exhibition displays for your next event. You want a display that communicates your brand and conveys your marketing message, one that attracts visitors’ attention and invites them to interact with your staff. And you want to do so in a cost-effective manner. Careful examination of your performance, time and cost constraints should help you determine which acquisition method is best for you.

Whether You rent or buy: Nomadic Display can Help

No matter which display acquisition option you chose, Nomadic Display can help you implement it easily and efficiently.

It’s easy to find and price displays without ever having to leave your desk. In addition, Nomadic’s in-house design staff is always available to create custom renderings that integrate your brand image and functional needs with a cost effective custom modular display solution.

It was over 45 years ago when Nomadic Display revolutionized the display industry with the invention of pop-up technology. Today, they are a leading provider of custom modular display solutions for purchase or rent. Nomadic Display works to ensure you get maximum results from your display properties.

Is Renting Right for you?

In today’s competitive business environment, success is measured by the figure on the bottom line. Learn how the role of display stands in exhibitions and events has changed and the solutions available to marketers. “Is the Rental Revolution Right for You?” was created to help you understand

* the market drivers that led to the display rental revolution

* the 3 key factors that affect your display acquisition decision

* how to evaluate whether to rent or buy your next display

* … and much more!