We’ve already written about this subject a few times before, but it’s a question we still get asked all the time from our clients—“When is it better to rent, and when is it better to buy Pipe and Base (pb) Hardware for my upcoming trade show, event, tour, or production?” So I thought I’d rehash some of the advice and suggestions we like to give our clients so that they can make an informed decision on which might be the better option for their particular needs.  Of course there are always a lot of great reasons for each side of the argument! In this blog post though, I’d like to focus now on why it may be a better idea to purchase your own pb hardware. Then I will follow up in a future blog post with some advice for when it might be a better idea to rent pb hardware instead.

FREQUENCIES OF THE EVENTS: If you do multiple productions or trade shows each year, and often have similar pipe and drapery needs each time, then cost-wise it just makes more sense to go ahead and purchase your pb hardware. Renting them over and over again, can quickly become financially straining taking valuable funds away from your budget (that you could be using on having custom drapery made instead!). If you purchase the pb hardware that you will typically need from SW?, then you would have the exact size, quantity, and configurations every time you needed it, all year round. Then you could rent different types of pipe pocket drapery to create your distinctive look (in various colors, sizes, styles, fabrics). This will help you keep a fresh and unique appearance each time, without the added expense of having to pay for the rental of pb hardware, too.

CUSTOM DRAPING: Rent What? does not offer custom-made soft goods in our rental inventory, but this just happens to be a specialty of our sister company Sew What? If you wanted to have beautiful and completely one-of-a-kind soft goods made for your event (either with a digital print, or drapery in styles, colors, and fabrics that perfectly match your event’s motif), then you would ultimately have to rent the hardware each and every time you needed to be able to display it. If you possessed your own hardware, then you would be able to showcase your custom soft goods any time you would like to, without having to worry about availability of the rental hardware, too.

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

So in a nutshell, 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 or events happen several times a year, and often in different parts of the country that would need everything to be shipped to and from.
  • You don’t always know exactly how long you’re going to need the hardware for.
  • You will need to have custom drapery built, which you know you’re going to want to hang up at different events throughout the year.
  • You can use the purchased carrying bags and dollies to keep everything stored together, and have a good location to keep everything safely secured.

If these points applied to you, then it would probably make more sense to purchase your pb hardware so that you can cut out as many unnecessary expenses as possible for every time you may need it. This will give you the flexibility and freedom to set up your Pipe and Drapery anytime, and anywhere, that you want. Do not hesitate to contact one of our sales reps today so that they can help you figure out the best choice for your own individual needs.