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The results of EXHIBITOR Magazine's 2016 Rental/Refurb Survey confirm that exhibit ownership is still the status quo. But according to respondents, rentals and refurbishments are viable and cost-efficient options that offer their own unique benefits. By Travis Stanton
To buy or not to buy, that is the question. Whether 'tis more common and cost effective to rent or refurbish, however, is what EXHIBITOR sought to determine with its 2016 Rental/Refurb Survey, which queried nearly 200 marketing professionals about their existing inventory of exhibit properties, the age of those properties, their experiences with refurbishment, and their propensity to rent exhibits in the foreseeable future.

According to the results, exhibit ownership is still the status quo, with 89 percent of respondents owning at least one exhibit and nearly a quarter owning six or more. On average, those structures are approximately 4 years old and are used at roughly eight trade shows per year. With an average expected lifespan of about five years, many of them are ready to be replaced or refurbished. But only half of exhibit managers have ever refurbished an exhibit.

When it comes to rental exhibits, 84 percent of face-to-face marketers understand their benefits, but only one-third have taken advantage of rental options in the last 12 months. Most renters prioritize criteria such as price, design, and customization options over floor plan, payment options, or vendor reputation when shopping for a rental property. And while custom-rental options are still a somewhat new phenomenon in the industry, 58 percent of respondents are familiar with the heightened customization and lower upfront investment they afford exhibitors. But to date, just four out of 10 have considered custom rentals for their companies' trade show programs. E




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