Trade Show Displays

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When choosing your Fabric Trade Show Backwalls, the options could see slightly daunting.  We’re here to help you with your choices.  What are your options, you ask?  Pillowcase and Tension Fabric are the two main options for fabric.  Yes, the fabric is a bit different for both, and so is the frame beneath.


Pillowcase Fabric Displays



To sum this up easily, the pillowcase display systems work is like a taught, stretchy pillowcase which is pulled over an aluminum frame.  The frame snaps together like a camping tent, with either an interior bungee holding individual poles together or a simple button lock mechanism.


A Pillowcase Trade Show Frame

A Pillowcase Trade Show Frame


Side and corners for your pillowcase frame

Sides and corners for your pillowcase frame


Once the frame is assembled, the pillowcase fabric can be pulled over top of the frame (either by lying the whole thing face-up on a clean surface, or standing up if you have three or more people, depending on the size of the particular stand).  These are usually pretty tight, especially at the bottom where you’ll have to pull a zipper to seal the bottom edge.  This is what the graphic is made for, and should stand, wrinkle free once in place.


The zipper will be snug

The zipper will be snug


Now, with all of this in mind, pillowcase trade show displays have a solid fabric back.  This mean it can be a double-sided graphic, and that the extra fabric will help to somewhat diffuse any bright lights behind your display.  Of course, this is dependent on the lights in question, but generally this is more diffused than a single-sided Tension fabric display.


A straight Pillowcase Fabric Display

A straight Pillowcase Fabric Display


Curved Pillowcase displays can be freestanding, but you’ll see in the pictures above that a straight display will include feet for a secure base.


Tension Fabric Displays


Straight Tension Fabric with Endcaps

Straight Tension Fabric with Endcaps


In contrast to the Pillowcase system, Tension Fabric Displays are attached to the front of your frame.  Instead of wrapping around your frame, they have Velcro stitched onto the back of your graphic.  The frame itself is greatly different from the pillowcase designs, remaining as a single piece which is design to expand to the full 8’ or 10’ display from a compact accordion-style system.

Lie Your Frame Down, So You can Attach Your Fabric Graphic

Lie Your Frame Down, So You can Attach Your Fabric Graphic


To assemble, two people can expand the frame from the corners, making sure it is face up.  Then, starting at one side, attach one edge of the fabric graphic, pulling tight to ensure it reaches both sides of the frame.

Like the pillowcase displays, this should be fairly tight, it’s what the fabric is made for.  Attach the graphic by working both sides down the frame, reducing wrinkles by keeping the fabric taught as you go.

Now, to be honest, you can keep the fabric graphic attached to this style of frame.  It makes set up simpler, but please note that this method can cause visible folds, wrinkles, or creases which will need time (an a ironing) to remove.


A Tension Fabric Display, from the back

A Tension Fabric Display, from the back


Unlike the pillowcase, there is no zipper, but neither is there a fabric back to reduce or diffuse the light which may be behind your trade show space.  Keep in mind this can affect different designs in different ways, as a graphic with a lot of white space or soft colours may shine brighter than dark or heavy saturated colours.


Straight, Curved, Serpentine




Both these options are available with either straight or curved frames.  The pillowcase displays have a third option called “serpentine”, which gives your display a curved wave.  They are also available in either horizontally or vertically curved options.

The tension fabrics, in comparison, can only curve horizontally, but all the tension frames have the option for a fabric endcap.  Tension fabric displays tend to have a greater amount of unique sizes, ranging from 2 ½’ to 12’ wide displays.

For more info on trade show display options, please call, or check out our post what-are-my-options-for-trade-show-displays.


vinyl-banner-edgesIf you are looking for a vinyl banner, you do have few different options to consider.  This depends on a few things.  Namely, where is your banner being displayed, and how long do you intend to use it?  Firstly, is your banner needed for an indoor event?  Or, do you need it to hang outside?  If you only need your banner for indoor use, an unfinished or straight cut edge might be enough for your needs.

If you want your banner to last outdoors, enduring wind, for multiple uses, you should probably choose a stronger, heartier option.

Our range of vinyl banners starts at economy (good for mild outdoor use) and indoor with either stitching around the perimeter, top and bottom pole pockets, or a straight cut edge.  We then have options for heavy duty banners (weather resistant and durable), with stitching and grommets, on a thicker material.  These can, if necessary, include nylon webbing and wind flaps.

To help understand what is best for you, take a look at what some of these options mean.



We offer complimentary stitching around the perimeter of your vinyl banner, as well as grommets to ensure you can display the piece as you require.  This stitching helps with the longevity and strength of your banner.  The edge of your banner is folded over, and we use a double stitch with a thin white thread.

vinyl-banner-edges_stitch-2 vinyl-banner-edges_stitch




Grommets are the small rings you see at the corners or perimeter of some vinyl banners.  Generally, we place these every foot or two around a banner, though if you need more, or less, let us know.  These rings are pierced directly through the vinyl material, after printing, and can be used to attach rope, hooks or nails without damage to your banner.


Grommets are inserted between the double stitch on the banner's edge

Grommets are inserted between the double stitch on the banner’s edge


Pole Pockets

If you want an indoor banner, but you do not want grommets, you do have the option for pole pockets at the top and bottom of your banner.  These are stitched pockets which are designed for a pole, like a dowel or strong curtain rod, to slide through.  This, like a curtain, provides you with a stable support.  Instead of grommets, this pocket let you hang your banner using your pole or rod.  (We’ve even done a few which required a rope inserted through the pocket!)

Heavy duty banner with pole pocket and grommets

Heavy duty banner with pole pocket and grommets

Pole pocket for an indoor trade show banner

Pole pocket for an indoor trade show banner


Nylon Webbing

If you need your banner to hang outside, perhaps on a fence or over a street, and endure strong winds and weather, nylon webbing is for you.  This is a strip of heavy duty material sewn right in your banner edges, like a stuff crust pizza.  It provides strength against the vinyl tearing when the wind picks up.  When we use nylon webbing, we also bump up the grommets to a larger hole, allowing you to use a heavier rope to firmly attach the banner.

Grommets are inserted straight through the webbing!

Grommets are inserted straight through the webbing!

Section of vinyl with nylon webbing sewn in

Section of vinyl with nylon webbing sewn in


Wind Smiles/Flaps

Just like the nylon webbing, wind flaps are recommended for banners used in outdoor, hard weather situations.  Hanging over a street, suspended over a highway, or attached to a fence in an open surrounding, these are situations which may require heavy duty options.

Wind flaps, or wind smiles, are small incisions cut through the face of your banner.  Yes, you read that right.  They are flaps cut into your banner, staggered across the length of the vinyl, to allow wind to pass through and ease stress on the edges.

You may think that these will disrupt or ruin the printed graphics, but take in mind that banners which require the wind flaps are designed for viewing from a distance.  When the wind is still, the flaps hang down.  Just to be clear, we do take all of this into account when placing the wind flaps, as to diminish the intrusion on your design.

Wind can pass through with minimum resistance

Wind can pass through with minimum resistance

Flaps hang down, ensuring legibility to your design

Flaps hang down, ensuring legibility to your design



Whatever Your Need, We Can Help

Stitching, webbing, grommets, or a straight cut edge.  Whatever your need, let us know what you need your banner to do, and we will work with you to make sure your get the option best for you.


designing-a-trade-show-boothWe’ve all seen the cluttered trade show booths with bad design included. You remember them …but for all of the wrong reasons! Optimizing your trade show booth design and layout is extremely important to ensure your trade show budget isn’t wasted. In the first few seconds that trade show attendees view your booth a decision is made and perceptions are formed. Lets quickly outline some core design principles that get help you boost trade show leads and improve engagement.

Graphic Backwall

Trade show back walls have many similarities to billboards, they’re large, should have one or two eye-catching graphics and a single message that can be read from a distance. Make sure your message isn’t cluttered or confused by a busy background pattern or image.


Limiting the amount of copy is also a good idea, use your logo, tagline and maybe a bullet point list….it’s not a brochure!! Take a good look at who your audience or target market and develop a look and feel for your booth that caters to them.


Image Resolution MattersGathering images for a large display is always a challenge. You’ll want to find images that not only represent your brand well, but are also visually stimulating.

A common issue with images used in trade show displays is resolution, images spanning 10 to 20 feet need to be high resolution. Taking an image off the internet that is 3″ x 4″ and is 72 DPI and making it 4 feet x 5 feet will produce an incredible bad result. If you’re purchasing images you’ll want to buy the largest size of that image that’s available.




Strong and vibrant colours are a great way to introduce good contrast between images and your copy. The age, gender and culture of your target market should be taken into account when choosing a colour scheme. Colours invoke emotions good and bad, take a good look at the psychology of colour before choosing your colour theme.


Choose simple clean fonts that will be easy to read from 10’ to 20’ away and incorporate an adequate amount of white space if possible. White Space around text greatly improves readability from a distance!

Booth Layout

It’s important to know the rules and restrictions for your assigned booth before you arrive, your exhibition organizer will have provided these details to you when you signed up for the show or will have them readily available on their website.

booth-sizeOverhead, a ceiling hung sign with lighting is an excellent way to draw attendees toward your booth long before they’re in front of your booth. This type of signage can be seen from a 100 feet away. Include a simple eye-catching message with your brand.

If your booth restrictions or your budget do not allow for ceiling hung signs, a header sign attached to your pop up display or back wall can be an excellent alternative. It can’t be viewed from the same distance but still provides a large clear message for those walking by.

At the front of your booth, banner stands with a bold matching colour choice provide an opportunity to present more details at close range. A literature rack can also allow a passer-by to grab your well-coordinated print materials.

Try not to clutter or overcrowd your space with props or people. Most people prefer to step into a space that’s clean and well-organized. Allow 50 or 60 square feet of sales space for a sales person, having four salespeople in a 10’ x 10’ booth is overkill and will certainly scare people away.

A well designed trade show booth staffed with professional, happy staff will provide the best opportunity for success at your next!

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