Trade Show Backdrops
What are the main types of trade show backdrops?
There are 1000's of different styles and looks for trade show booth displays, but they can be sorted into some basic groups. When you're shopping for a backdrop, look at the frame to help you find the type of trade show backdrop display that best meets your own specific requirements.
Almost all backdrops include a frame that holds and advertises your logo and brand. Some backdrops hold graphics on just the front (single sided), some show your art on both front and back (double-sided). Designers try to make every display look unique and different, but the backdrop frames themselves are built in several standardized ways:
- Pop up displays use an accordion frame that expands and contracts. Pop up displays almost always use cloth backdrops, with full color printed fabric. These cloth backdrops can attach many different ways, including hooks, velcro, silicone beading, magnetic strips, etc.
- Rigid extrusion frames (or hybrid displays) are another way to build event backdrops for trade shows. These assemble in different ways, some needing tools, some using clever clips, hooks, knobs, etc., so that you don't need to find a missing tool. Graphics can be rigid or rolled laminates or stretch fabric, similar to the popup displays.
- Panel booths normally also use rigid frames, but they also use graphics that are assembled in pre-made panels. The popular MultiQuad displays are an example of a rigid modular frame that uses rigid graphics. Our Expolight displays use a frame similar to the MQ, but use rollable graphics instead of rigid graphics.
- Rigid tube frames, normally have bungee cords running through them to keep similar pieces (each side, the top, and the bottom) grouped together, and these sections slip together and lock in place with clips. Cloth backdrops are used, typically a "pillow case" style, that slips over the tube formed backdrop frame, and then pulls tight and zips shut to maintain tension.
- Truss trade show display systems are made with steel or aluminum, sometimes composites. Graphics can be rigid or fabric, attached in all of the ways mentioned above. Truss event backdrops have a unique shape, and are almost always heavier than the other choices, but come with some benefits too. They are usually more structurally strong, so they can hold heavier products. They look strong too, which can be a potent marketing tool.
There are a couple of ways to avoid frames and still create a show backdrop display. One way is to use 3 or 4 retractable banner stands, placed side by side, to create inexpensive customized backdrops. These can be combined with inexpensive table throws and table top displays to allow the exhibitor setup and take-down process to be very simple and quick. Depending on the type of event and the size of the booth space, this trade show fabric wall can be a quick and inexpensive way to get started in trade show marketing.
Another way is to take advantage of the "pipe and drape" curtains that most trade shows use to define and separate the different booth spaces. Instead of bringing a complete display, an exhibitor can create a trade show booth backdrop wall by simply using a special banner designed to attach to the show's pipe frame, and cover the show's black or blue curtain drape with a full color graphic. This method can be a great entry method for new exhibitors, allowing them to try out show marketing without a much larger investment. (Another good entry method is to rent a display for your first couple of shows, while you work to define and create your trade show marketing strategy.).
What are Tension Fabric Displays, anyways?
The latest tension fabric display frames combine the best features of the other methods of exhibit booth construction, using light weight metal frames (popups, poles or extrusions) to create a framework for lightweight fabric graphics. The graphic for these displays is made with "tension fabric", called that because it is slightly stretchy and is pulled tight when attached, to help eliminate wrinkles. These fabric graphics are lightweight and fold up compactly to ship, creating terrific and very portable displays.
Tension fabric graphics are attached to the frame in one of 3 main methods:
- With a hook and loop strip (Velcro) sewn onto the back of the fabric graphic, and a matching strip of velcro attached to the frame.
- Using silicone edges that are sewn onto the edge of the fabric, and pushed into a groove on the seg tension fabric frame ("pushfit" or SEG).
- Tension fabric graphics can also use a "pillow case" booth design, meaning the graphics is literally shaped like a pillow case, slipped over the frame, pulled tight and zipped shut. These tube frames covered with light weight fabric make high quality portable displays.
Tension fabric displays are smaller and more lightweight than traditional rigid graphics. Booths constructed with tension fabric graphics can tower up and take command of the exhibition hall.
Many event displays are modular displays, meaning the frame sections can be combined to create larger or smaller (10x10 -> 10 x 20, 10x30, island shapes, etc) exhibits as needed.
Fabric graphics are products that are best printed with a process called dye-sublimation, which transfers very sharp, brilliant digital color images onto the fabric; these images do not run or smear. This process creates a striking effect that is very appealing and eye-catching. Dye sub printed fabric graphics can be machine washed in case they are soiled.
Tension Fabric Capabilities
Why are they called "Tension Fabric Graphics"?
Is TENSION FABRIC reliable? The stretchy fabric backdrops and light-as-a-feather aluminum design that normally goes hand in hand with fabric graphics means light-weight displays and easy transportation in and out of trade show venues. These designs are also easy to set up and simple to store between shows. If it's a popup display with fabric graphics, you simply expand the lightweight, anodized aluminum pop-up frame and your tension fabric graphics (attached with Velcro(r) or SEG (silicone edge graphics) ) become the star of the show. The collapsible aluminum frame allows your graphics to stay attached when the show is over.
Great Full Color, High Quality Printing. Tension fabric takes the dye sublimation process beautifully, especially for printing lifelike photographs. And ink jet printing on tension fabric produces sharp, stunning trade show backdrop graphics equally as well.
Wide Range of Tension Fabric Displays. There's a tension fabric size and shape for almost every need, from banners to entire booths and everything in between! With customized, cost-effective and lightweight framing, the sky's the limit--or at least the ceiling of your next trade show. Design dreams can come alive in creative, free-form shapes, soaring trade show exhibit displays, three-dimensional structures and ceiling-hung signs, all designed to enhance your display's visibility.
Reduced Concern with Wrinkles. The unique composition of tension fabric is wrinkle-resistant, so your trade show booths always look fresh and new so your display always looks fresh and new. This characteristic is improved because tension fabric graphics are, by the very nature, stretched out on the display, further reducing wrinkles. And tension fabric graphics can be machine washed (gentle cycle, gentle detergent, air cycle drying) if soiled or wrinkled due to improper storage. This sturdy fabric is also fade-, water- and fire-resistant, able to stand up to years of display use. This means you can use your tension fabric graphics inside or outside...whatever the weather!
Tension fabric printed designs for your company'sdisplays and exhibits can make your next trade show backdrop display stand out. That durable, easy care, stretchy fabric in combination with the lightweight aluminum frame offers superior portability, affordability, creativity and visibility, attracting more customers to your portable display. And they are not just great as a event backdrop - they are also used for corporate lobbies, museums, and shopping malls - anywhere you need to impress clients with a high quality, great looking graphic!
Benefits of Using Tension Fabric as a Trade Show Backdrop:
- Very portable trade show booth
- Ease of assembly.
- Easy Graphic Design
- Allows for creative display solutions.
- Offers versatile custom trade show displays
- Limitless design possibilities.
- Reduced Production Time
- Variety of shapes, sizes and colors.
- High visibility.
- Ability to display photographs, 3D visual effects, graphics, and branding.
- Extreme durability.
- Eco-friendly and recyclable.
- Simple to clean (machine washable!).
These benefits are the reasons why more and more trade show exhibitors use stretch fabric for their trade show backdrop. Custom graphics made from tension fabric can also be seen at a tradeshow as hanging signs in towers, cloth backdrops, wings and conference areas.
- Tension fabrics are quite practical. They provide easy transporting and storage.
- Normally, no tools are needed to assemble or dismantle these trade show backdrop displays.
- They create fresh, up-to-date trade show graphics that are eye-catching and easily updated.
- They also give the booth display a more contemporary look and feel by adding movement, elegance, and dimension, especially when used with functional trade show lighting.
The advantages to fabric graphics are also easy to see from a price perspective: they are inexpensive, fast to produce, incredibly simple (light weight and foldable) to transport, environmentally friendly, and can be printed to look like virtually anything. In fact, you can often use cloth to “fake” other materials, in situations where people won’t be looking too hard. Consider a cloth ceiling or a brick wall! Also, eco-friendly cloth fabrics are now available, which is great for creating low-impact fabric trade show displays that promote minimalism and accommodation in materials usage.
Trade Show Displays with Tension Fabric Graphics
We place fabric custom graphics on our exhibits in three primary ways; on seg tension fabric frames made from lightweight aluminum extrusions, attached with either Velcro or silicon edged beads, or onto aluminum tube frames with a pillow case graphics slipped and zipped tight.
Popular pillow case or tube form displays include our Waveline displays, as well as a variety of tension fabric structures, including fabric towers, arches, and rooms. The aluminum tube displays assemble quickly and easily, just slipping together and snapping into place. The pillow case graphics are easy to handle, slip onto the frame and zip them up to finish the assembly.
The aluminum extrusion frames are a bit more complicated to assemble - but not too much at all. Most of our hybrid exhibit booths and frames assemble with either a hex key lock, or a hand turned knob, that locks the frame pieces together. Fabric custom graphics attach with either Velcro or with silicon edges. Just like many retractable banners, popular hybrid trade show displays booths come with lifetime hardware warranties and dynamic high resolution dye sub printed tension fabric graphics. Other popular cloth backdrops include the Vector Frame and Timberline trade show display designs.
All styles of stretch fabric graphics are easy to back-light, and we offer backlit versions of most of them - just ask for details. Worth noting; some of the popup displays - the Burst and the Xpressions - also use tension fabric graphics - and can be backlit - so if you're looking for fabric graphics, with or without backlighting, don't forget to check out some tension fabric pop up display booths too!
Please let us know if you have any questions - American Image Displays want to be your one-stop shop for all trade show requirements.