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Graphic Display Printing Guide
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What to Use for the Trade Show – Panel System or Pop Up Display

Trade show booth graphic for vehicles

Understanding what Panel System and Pop Up Displays are, and which one is best suitable for a Trade Show event.

Question: We’re gearing up for a trade show after the first of the year, and are trying to decide whether to use a panel system or a pop up display. What is your advice?

If you’re going to be attending several trade shows a year, and you want to vary your photos with each show, the panel system might be a good way to go. However, in our opinion, it is not the most attractive option when it comes to trade show booths and displays. It’s not butt ugly either.

With Panel Systems

While it is a fairly simple system, the panel system is more difficult to erect and install than a plain pop up banner system. The frame has to be erected, which is not difficult, then the heavy fabric panels attached using magnetic strips or velcro, or other types of attachment systems. This process can be a bit time consuming, but once this part is completed, it’s a snap to add photo display panels.

With Pop up Displays

Putting Up magnetic graphics for Trade showsWith a pop up display booth, the typical frame will pop up similar to the panel trade show display, and usually the graphics to be attached are light weight dye sublimation printed fabric pieces, or with some serpentine frames, the fabric will be somewhat like a sock and slip over the entire frame.

Usually, with the pop up trade show booth, the fabric has a few velcro tabs that attach to certain points across the top, bottom, and sides of the frame. The fabric banner cover typically wraps around the sides of the frame to create a seamlessly viewed backdrop for your booth. This type of booth, in our opinion, creates a nicer looking display, and the cost is no higher than the panel display.

When to Use the Panel System and Pop up Display Booth

Jazz Trade show BackdropAs I stated before, if you want to be able to change out your graphics, though, the panel system might be better. This way, if you are targeting a different audience, or even mid show feel that you aren’t getting the action in your booth you’d hoped for, you would be able to switch out graphics and sales messages to hopefully get more business for your firm.

If you are targeting different audiences at various trade shows, though, with messages that work well in other advertising venues, and you’ve already tested these other venues, such as print ads, online ads, and TV ads, and you know what is working to attract clients, then you may opt for the pop up trade show display, but have a different banner cover for each event.

You can also utilized peripheral graphics systems such as a multimedia display, banner stands, easels with foam core or EPVC signs, roll up (retractable) banner stands (particularly effective along the aisles of any trade show), and display shelving if that is apropos to your business.

Multi-Panel Displays

There are now, though, some multi-panel displays that we really like that combine the best aspects of the panel displays with the best aspects of the pop up displays.

Multi-panel Trade show GraphicsThese multi-panel displays utilize stretch poly panels that are pre-sized to fit one or more sections, of which there are most commonly nine or twelve. The panels have “button holes” in the corners, and fit over top of retaining “knobs.” Because this system also typically uses dye sublimation printed polyester fabric banners, it is my personal favorite, as anyone who reads this blog will have ascertained.

Check out more about polyester fabric banners printed through dye sublimation here: https://www.visigraph.com/fabric-vinyl-cloth-banners/


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Barry K. Brown

Barry Brown has been in the Sign, Banner, Decal and Display Business for over 20 years. It isn't what he thought he'd do with his life, but he says he knows too much now to do anything else!

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