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 roadshow truck because it is often more cost-effective to do so. Exhibition vehicles are specialist pieces of kit and there is significant cost with building a new one. Unless a tour is for more than two or three years the general rule is that hiring an exhibition trailer is more financially prudent than buying.
That said, we do have clients that hire their vehicles 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.
Lead time is another factor. So long as we have availability, then a hire vehicle can be on the road in 6-8 weeks whereas it takes 22+ weeks to build a new one. This suits many clients as does the fact that there is no need to consider operational costs such as insurance, maintenance and storage – all of which are covered in our hire rate.
When is it best to buy an exhibition trailer?
We do have some clients who know from the outset that they want a roadshow truck to be part of their long-term strategy. If this is the case then financially, buying is the better option. Making a capital investment and then amortising that over three or five years can make it more cost effective, depending on the specification of the vehicle.
One key consideration however 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
Making sure you get a good return on investment will be at the heart of your decision over whether to hire or buy, and helping you maximise that is a key 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 a part of your long-term strategy you can decide if you want to do a long-term hire or purchase an exhibition vehicle.
There are pros and cons to both but when the increased flexibility involved with hiring is factored in, it is little wonder that most of our clients choose to hire rather than buy.
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.