How Durable are Fabric Trade Show Graphics Printed Through Dye Sublimation
Question: We are purchasing a fabric dye sub trade show display, and would like to know how long it will last for our company?
Answer: There are a lot of factors one should consider in how long a trade show booth will last, but the biggest one is what I’ll address first, and that is the proper care and feeding of a trade show booth.
The materials that most booths are constructed from this decade (and even last decade for the most part), are good quality materials such as aluminum or fiberglass for the frame, and vinyl or cloth fabric or other good quality materials for the graphics that will last for a decade – if they are treated with care.
The most common issue I’ve seen personally, and have heard from other trade show display purveyors, is that the booths are treated roughly, and break down faster than necessary. If you’re renting a booth, you won’t need to worry about it, but if you’re purchasing your booth and display graphics, then it is likely that your booth attendants, both temporary and sales force employees, will be setting the booth up and taking it down and re-packing it.
The repacking is often where the most damage occurs, because usually there is a specific way to pack your display frame and graphics. I will say that fabric graphics are more impervious to damage than vinyl or pvc or other semi rigid plastics, which is why I always recommend this type of graphic cover for trade show displays, but there is also no reason, with a modicum of care, to damage other graphics.
In taking care of any other type of graphics such as non-rigid plastics or vinyl graphics, the rule of thumb is to never fold up the graphics because it will cause permanent wrinkles or lines in the material. This means that you may need to ship your graphics in tubes, thus negating any cost savings you may have achieved in purchasing the cheaper plastic or vinyl materials, especially if you are going to use your trade show display booth at multiple shows.
This is why I personally recommend dye sublimation printed polyester fabrics for trade show displays. You can fold the material into a relatively compact bundle and ship it for a lot less. You’ll recoup your additional costs for this material at the first show, and if you’re using it at multiple shows, you’ll be money ahead to use fabric display graphics over all others.
One more plug for the fabric graphics. They are washable, foldable, and hold their color indefinitely. The dye sub printing process, during which the dye becomes permanently embedded in the cells of the polyester fabric using a combination of heat and pressure that converts the printed dye into a gaseous state, creates a photographic look to your graphics that is unattainable with any other print method, and makes it so the colors won’t fade over the next decade if you’re not leaving the banner in full sun out of doors 24/7! And even then, it’ll do better than any other printed sign or display.
As far as the frame itself, again, most of them are made of aluminum or fiberglass poles, and if not forced to bend in ways they were never meant to bend or twisted or otherwise abused, most of the pop up frames should last several years. Read all directions very carefully that pertain to unpacking and installing the frame, and pay close attention to the order in which you do it, then when you uninstall and repack the frame, simply reverse the order and handle the frame gently and you should be able to use your frame for many years.
You can find more options on polyester fabric graphic printing at www.visigraph.com/fabric-vinyl-cloth-banners/dye-sublimation-polyester-cloth-fabric-banners/