A question we get a lot here is, “When is it better to rent, and when is it better to buy a Pipe and Drape System?” Of course there are always a lot of great reasons for each option, but today I’d like to focus on three primary factors to consider when you are evaluating whether to buy or to rent.

Lun Gui_4

Digitally printed booth drapery sets a booth apart, and can be used with standard purchased or rented hardware

For those who want the same pipe and drape set up for multiple events, it makes sense to buy the exact pieces needed for that set up.  But if you want the ability to adjust the setup (maybe have a smaller booth for one event and a larger booth for another event, or one color of drapes for this month’s event and a different color for next month’s event), renting offers you greater flexibility to choose different options without investing in new pieces each time.


If you do several trade shows per year, and typically have the same booth set up each time, then it makes sense to go ahead and purchase your hardware. Renting the same items over and over again can add up quickly.  On the other hand, if you only do 1 or 2 trade shows a year, it is likely more cost effective to rent the hardware.

PD_Booth Set-up w-yellow

For something unique, consider renting the hardware and purchasing custom drapery

Renting is perfect for larger one-off events in which you need a lot of pipe and drape but don’t expect to need that quantity in the future. On the other hand, if you hold large events frequently each year, and repeat the event year after year (such as if you put on a large trade show three times a year, for multiple years, and use 300 booths), you may want to invest in purchasing the pipe and drape upfront rather than renting it over and over.


Hardware and drapery for a single booth doesn’t take up much space, and therefore can be easily stored by almost anyone.  However, when deciding whether it works better for you to buy or to rent a large quantity of pipe and drape, consider whether you have the space to store the items in between events. Large quantities of Pipe and drape can take up a lot of room, so if your storage space is limited, you may be better off renting it as needed.

PD_Blue Pipe and Drape

Rental pipe and drape is perfect for a short term event, as in this music performance

One other thing to keep in mind – it is not always an either / or situation.  You can also choose to combine buying and renting!  Perhaps buy the hardware, but rent different drapery for each event.  Or rent the hardware while purchasing custom drapery (perhaps a digitally printed backdrop or other custom drape)!