3 Reasons To Skip The 10×10 Portable Displays And Rent Instead

So, you’re looking to exhibit at your industry’s main trade show event. You want to start small with a 10×10 booth space, but you’re not sure what kind of trade show display you should get. After a quick Google search, you find there’s many common 10×10 Portable Displays, but for your budget and lack of storage space you realize you need to keep it simple. You’ve narrowed it down to 10×10 rental displays and 10×10 portable displays but, beyond the price, you’re just not sure what sets the two apart. Is there really a difference?

Great question! At first glance, we know that very often you can buy a 10×10 portable display booth for about the same price you might pay to rent a 10×10 trade show booth. Just like a rental display, many of these portable exhibit solutions include the backwall, stem lights, graphics, and the reception counter. Often, these portable solutions include a reception counter that also converts into the display’s shipping case for compact shipping. However, beyond the price and simplicity of these portable displays, they can leave a lot to be desired. The compact nature of portable displays sacrifices many of the most important aspects of an eye-catching trade show display.

So why rent a 10×10 trade show booth when you can own a 10×10 portable display? With a little industry insight, there’s some excellent reasons why you might rent your 10×10 trade show booth.

Top 3 reasons you should skip the portable displays and rent instead:

Appearance – You may recognize that in your industry niche and against your competition, it’s not helpful for you to look portable. Portable has its advantages, but one primary disadvantage of a portable display is that they can look quite cheap.
Often 10×10 portable displays are shorter than a standard booth. Most shows allow a backwall of 96 inches tall. For portable displays, this often is not an ideal dimension for breaking down to ship in portable cases. So, for material and shipping efficiency, most portable backwalls measure around 92 inches tall, a full 6 inches short of a standard 10×10 trade show rental booth.

This may seem minor when you preview your new portable display in your warehouse. However, on the show floor and alongside other standard 10×10 trade booths that are full-height, your shorter portable backwall is at a clear disadvantage.

In addition to shorter backwalls, many of these portable displays have shorter reception counters as well, particularly when the reception counter converts into the shipping case. A smaller shipping case costs less to ship, but for portable displays, this also means you get a smaller booth. For this reason, it’s very common for you to find a portable reception counter that measures approximately 36 to 38 inches tall. Here again, next to a full height 40 inch, or even 42 inch reception counter, your portable counter will look small and cheap.

Load Bearing – Most booths today, big and small, benefit from a demo station or a TV with a looping video. For a smaller 10×10 booth space, the best location for a TV is mounted to the backwall.

Portable displays have been modified to accept TV mounts, but you don’t have to look very hard to see that they are not well-suited to handle and support the weight of a TV mounted onto the backwall. This usually results in some flexing or leaning forward of the entire backwall, in some cases to the point of crashing forward. This is not the sort of attention you wanted to attract on the show floor.

In addition to TV’s, many exhibitors also have a need to display products. Here again, portable displays do generally offer some backwall shelving solution. However, like mounting a TV, they simply are not well-suited for this purpose.

With most rental trade show booths, the structures are not only sturdier, but also much more customizable. You can easily mount a TV to the backwall and in a variety of ways add shelving to display product on the backwall. With your 10×10 booth space being fairly small, maximizing the use of your backwall for mounting TV’s and product shelving becomes even more important. This can all be done safely, providing a strong a stable presence in your booth space.

Durability – Portable trade show displays need to be lightweight, otherwise they are not very portable, but lightweight equals reduced durability.

Thin aluminum walls are fragile, easily bent, and not easily repaired. Molded plastic parts are small and easily broken or lost. In the post-show rush, it can be difficult to unpack, install, dismantle, and repack a portable trade show display multiple times without damage, especially if the person doing this work is not the person who paid hard-earned money for it.

Most rental trade show booths are modular displays built using strong metal parts that are not easily damaged. For a rental business to be profitable, these parts must be durable and withstand the test of time. The best part is, if some parts are broken or lost during install or dismantle, you’re generally off the hook for the replacement of them. Exhibit rental houses know that it’s their responsibility to provide you with a durable, reliable trade show booth.


So, it makes sense why many savvy exhibitors simply feel that a ultralight portable display is not an option to help them compete on the show floor. The strength, durability, and appearance just aren’t there. Every year, as trade show rental designs get more and more competitive, so do the prices, and the price gap between similar portable displays and rental displays gets smaller.

Since you’re looking for a budget friendly solution, we invite you to browse our wide variety of 10×10 trade show rental design ideas we have on our website. You’ll see just how good you could look renting a trade show display for your next 10×10 booth space, one that features the functional elements you need.

As always, our website rental trade show displays are just ideas designed to get us talking and drill down on your needs and wants. Once we learn about you, we’re ready to develop a customized rental design with functional options custom-tailored to your company.

Quick two minute video.