A question we get a lot here at Rent What? Inc. is, “When is it better to rent, and when is it better to buy a Pipe and Drape System for my upcoming event?” Of course there are always a lot of great reasons for each, but I’d like to focus now on why it may be a better idea to purchase, and talk about when it would be a better idea to rent in a future blog.


If you do more than 3 or 4 local trade shows each year, and often have a similar booth set up each time, then cost-wise it just makes more sense to go ahead and purchase your hardware. Renting it over and over again, depending on the size of your booth, can add up quickly. If you purchase it from Sew What? Inc., for just a few hundred dollars more, then you would have it every time you needed it, year round. Then, if you wanted to rent different colors or styles of draping for individual events, you could then arrange that with Rent What?, and still have a unique feel to each event without the added expense of paying for the rental of hardware, too.


Rent What? cannot rent custom-made backdrops, which is a specialty of our sister company, Sew What?  If you wanted to have a beautiful and unique custom backdrop made for your booth, then you would ultimately have to rent the hardware each and every time you wanted to be able to display it. If you owned your own hardware for the backdrop, then you would be able to showcase your custom backdrop anytime you would like without having to worry about availability of the rental hardware or the added expense.


People don’t always realize how extremely heavy the pipe and base hardware can be, especially the bases, which can run anywhere between 13lbs and 62lbs, EACH, depending on your set-up. Shipping pipe and base hardware across the country over and over again can end up costing a lot more than the rental itself, which can really add up in the long run.


Right now Sew What? has a few special deals on single booth set-ups, which could include draping as well, or just include the hardware. For around $250, you can buy all of the hardware needed for a typical 10×10 booth setup. Or for around $500-700, you can purchase an entire booth setup, which would also include banjo cloth drapes for it, as well as separate carrying bags for everything.

So, basically, here are some rules of thumb that will help you decide if buying is the best way to go:

  • You tend to do smaller trade shows, and end up having a similar set up every time.
  • Your trade shows happen several times a year, and often in different parts of the country that would need everything shipped to.
  • You never know how long you’re going to need the hardware for.
  • You have custom draping that you know you’re going to want to hang up at different events, and often.
  • You have a good location to store everything in, and can use the purchased carrying bags from Sew What? to keep everything handily together.