Carpeting Your Booth Space

Welcome to “Exhibitor Lounge” sponsored by Exhibit  I am your host and Trade Show Mixologist, Michael Gray. Here, each week, you receive simple, practical, and proven tips to improve your trade show marketing strategy and get better results while maximizing your budget.

Most exhibitors with smaller exhibit spaces rent carpet from the show contractor. But is that really the best deal? OK, so today, let’s talk carpet. Larger exhibit spaces usually have their own carpet shipped with the exhibit. It is a general understanding that it is more economical to bring your own. So the big question is – What is the cut-off for renting vs. buying carpet?

Not so fast. There are other things to evaluate first.

You know that the general contractor carpet is only 9 feet deep so the carpet does not go all the way to the back of the drape line. Because of that you need to move your exhibit forward losing valuable real estate. 100 square feet of space now is only 90 square feet. For example, if you have a curved pop-up exhibit you are already losing some space because of the curved shape. The footprint of the exhibit requires 18 to 24 inches front to back. The general contractor carpet adds another foot of space lost so now the curved ends of the pop-up could be up to three feet from the backwall.

The other thing to know about the general contractor’s basic rental carpet (AND PADDING) is that the quality (meaning the density) is usually on the low side. Basic rental carpet is only 12 to 16 oz. By comparison, a standard cut pile home carpet is, on average, 30 to 50 oz. in density. The rental carpet is also used over and over again so you rarely get fresh carpet. The carpet also only comes in about 5 or 6 basic colors.

The reason that this becomes more important is because the cost of rental carpet fluctuates a lot between show locations and contractors. To rent this carpet with padding you are spending anywhere from $300 to $500 for a 10 x 10 space. To the general contractor’s credit the cost does include the drayage, installation, and removal saving you any additional costs or hassle onsite.

So here are the basics of General Contractor rental carpet:

  1. Carpet for linear exhibits is usually only 9 feet deep.
  2. It is a lower density product around 16 ounces.
  3. It is most likely a used carpet with some wear and tear.
  4. You have a limited color selection of only 5 to 6 basic colors

Bottom line – there are good reasons to opt for a rental carpet in some situation. There are other times when it makes more sense to send your own. We will tie this all together next week when we look at owning and shipping your own carpet.

As always, please respond with your questions or comments and let others know about EXHIBITOR LOUNGE.COM. We will see you next week. Until then, I am your host Michael Gray telling you to RELAX in the Exhibitor Lounge.