Exhibition Trailer: Hire or Buy?
A question clients often ask when considering a roadshow tour, is whether it makes more sense to hire or buy an exhibition trailer. Here we explore the benefits of both.
When is it best to hire an exhibition trailer?
The majority of our clients hire their exhibition trailer because it is often more cost-effective to do so. Exhibition vehicles are specialist pieces of kit and there's significant cost in building a new one. Unless a tour is for more than two or three years, the general rule is that hiring makes more financial sense than buying.
That said, we do have clients that hire their trucks on a long term basis because their finance team would rather that than make the capital investment; or, their procurement team like the flexibility of knowing they can cancel the contract should they want to.
Another factor is lead time. As long as we have availability, then a hired exhibition trailer can be on the road in 6-8 weeks, whereas a new build can take 22+ weeks. As our hire package also includes all operational costs such as insurance, maintenance and storage – this option suits many of our clients.
When is it best to buy an exhibition trailer?
If a client knows from the outset that the roadshow will be part of a long-term strategy, then financially, buying is the better option. Making a capital investment and then splitting that over three or five years can make it more cost effective, depending on the specification of the vehicle.
One key consideration though, is making sure you buy a good quality vehicle that will retain its value. Having a clear plan for what you will do with your exhibition trailer once the tour is over is also essential.
Return on Investment
ROI will be at the heart of your decision over whether to hire or buy, and helping you maximise that is a priority for us. It may be that you can see the benefits of a roadshow and can understand how it will fit into your marketing strategy, but may not quite be ready to sign up for a multi-year tour.
In that case you may want to consider a pilot tour where you hire a vehicle for 3/6/12 months and test how effective it is in helping you achieve your objectives. Whether its anecdotal feedback, daily footfall, sales leads, engagement quality, brand perception uplift or an alternative value measure; we can help you paint an accurate picture of your campaign’s success.
If you then choose to make a roadshow truck part of your long-term strategy, you can decide whether you want to do a long-term hire or purchase an exhibition vehicle.
There are pros and cons to both but with the increased flexibility of hiring, it is little wonder that most of our clients choose the option over purchasing.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t merits in buying. We do have many good examples of clients who have bought an exhibition trailer from us with great success, especially those who tested the market first with a pilot roadshow.