There are so many different options when trying to choose your convention displays.  You may see material names like Tension Fabric, Truss Displays, as well as brand names like Formulate and Vector.  There are straight displays, but then there are horizontally and vertically curved ones as well.  In addition, you will find 6′, 8′, 10′, and all the way up to awesome and captivating kits designed to fit a 20′ exhibition space.

If you’re looking at your options, then there is a type I’d like to take a minute to talk about.

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Convention Displays


Now, if you clicked on the above link, you see it takes you to a page with 3 different products.  It is the curved and straight pop up trade show displays I’d like to talk about here.  (The Aero is a bit different, and warrants a whole other post.)

Convention Displays, Step-By-Step Pop Ups

These convention displays are panels (usually 3 or 4 panels plus some curved endcaps if you want) held on an expandable frame.  Curved or straight, the frame extends easily, held in place by magnetic clips at structurally important places.  To begin with, expand the frame, standing it up in place where you want the display to be.

Convention Display

Convention Frame – Step One

Secondly, you’ll need to attach magnetic channel bars onto the frame.  The number of channel bars changes with different sizes of frames, seeing that larger frames have more panels.  If you have endcaps to put on, you’ll need to make sure you have magnetic bars on the back (just the left and right side) of the frame as well.  If not, you’ll only need the magnetic bars on the front of the frame.

Convention Displays

Magnetic Channel Bars

Convention Displays

Expand the frame and put on the channel bars

So, after the magnetic channel bars are in place (easy, right?) you’re ready to put on your first panel.  The tops of your panels should have plastic clips that attach to the top of the frame at every section.

Convention Displays

Panels hang in place from hooks, with magnets to hold them in place.

Generally, I like to start in the centre.  Put the middle panel on first, this helps keep your panels straight if you’re on an uneven floor.


Convention Displays

Start at the top, working the panel down and onto the magnets.

The other panels go on the exact same way, start at the top and guide the magnets on the back of the panels into place.

Convention Displays

Magnets on the back of the panels hold them in place.

Convention Displays

Keep an eye on the top of the panels, ensuring they are as even as possible.

Finishing the Set-Up

If you find the tops of your panels are uneven, you’re probably on an unlevel surface.  This can cause a shift, subsequently shifting the panels slightly out of position.  If you can move to a different spot, do so.  If so, sometimes just moving the frame back a foot or two can help, depending on the surface.  Additionally, you can gently nudge the top of the frame left or right (again…gently) to try to correct the discrepancy and get the panels flush at the top.  Once the centre panels are set in place, your endcaps can go on, finishing your set-up.

Convention Display

Endcaps do a great job of sealing the sides of your display

Convention Displays, Extras

To add a little umph to your display, your can add lights or a counter.  Lights slide on to clips already attached to the top of your frame, while the shipping case can be wrapped in graphics for a quick and easy counter.

Convention Displays

A case wrap makes your case into a simple, branded counter.

There are many other pieces that you could add to enhance these convention displays such as flags and retractable banner stands.  These would all simply be based on your own tastes and preferences.  For this post, let’s stick with the convention display itself.  Now, I’ve only really mentioned the basic 8′ display here.  The 8′ and 10′ curved are our most convention displays, though there are quite a few options to choose from.  They all go up the same way, whether you have a straight tabletop display, a 6′ wide curved display, the Gullwing, or the Serpentine.  You can also have panels created to completely wrap around the frame, front and back, using the endcaps to connect both sides.

Convention Displays - Gullwing

A Gullwing Convention Display

As always, our staff are always here to answer any questions you may have.  Please give us a call or go to our site for more details.

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 for Fabric Trade Show Displays?  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.

Fabric Trade Show Displays


Pillowcase Fabric Displays

Fabric Trade Show 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 fabric 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.


Pillowcase Fabric Trade Show Displays

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 Trade Show Displays attach 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.


Are you preparing for a trade show event, sales presentation or grand opening? If so you’re probably dealing with several different vendors to pull together your various graphic requirements. KCBGraphics.com can design and produce your high quality trade show displays, large format vinyl banners, posters, printed brochures, presentation folders and promotional products ensuring graphic continuity and saving you time and money.

Your pocket folders, brochures, business cards, post cards, fridge magnets will be printed using high quality offset and digital methods. We’ll choose the method that will meet your quality requirements and exceed your price expectations.

Your retractable banner stands, pop up displays, full colour vinyl banners and trade show displays will pop with vibrant colour, grabbing the attention of your prospects.

Close the deal with creative promotional products that are perfectly coordinated with your entire graphic arsenal.

At KCBGraphics.com you’ll find affordable printing, trade show displays, banner stands, vinyl banners and promotional products that will make your company look great, free up your time and save you money. Call 1-800-350-7152 for more information.