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Installing Trade Show Booth Graphics; The Front Runner Fabric

Trade Show graphic booth for marine supplies

How to attach printed fabric displays to the trade show pop up frames. And, find out what a front runner fabric is.

Question: I’m new to trade show booths and graphics, and I was curious as to how the fabric display graphics attach to the pop up frames?

There are three main ways that dye sublimation printed fabric graphics attach to pop up displays.

Fabric with Velcro Tabs

The first way, and probably the most common way, is for the fabric to have loop Velcro tabs sewn on the back side of the graphic around the edges of the fabric.

Installing Trade Show Graphics to Pop Up DisplayThen the frame will have adhesive tabs that match up to the tabs on the fabric, and after you’ve popped up the frame you simply match the tabs to each other, starting in one of the upper corners and voila!, you’ve got your pop up display.

Multi-Panel Popup Display

The 2nd method is used on another type of display which is sometimes called a multi-panel popup display.

Multi-panel Trade show GraphicsThis type of display uses several dye sublimation printed stretch polyester fabric panels that have button holes sewn in the corners. Because they are slightly stretchy, when installed the create a tight sail-like panel that has a unique appearance and is becoming very popular with trade show exhibitors.

Magnetic Strip or Tab

The third method, which is still used frequently with non-fabric trade show booths, is the magnetic strip or tab attachment method.

Putting Up magnetic graphics for Trade showsThis method is similar to the Velcro attachment method and matches magnets to metal tabs on the frame which hold the graphic in place. I personally am not a proponent of this type of stand, but there are a lot of them in use and replacement graphics are available.

There are another couple proprietary methods that use snap in hardware, but I’m also not much of a fan of proprietary systems, at least not unless they are so revolutionary, easy to use and cheaper than anything else available that it makes sense to use that system. Obviously, my opinion is that they are not.

To print customized trade show graphics you can use for your pop up displays, check this out.

Question:  What is Front runner fabric?

Front runner fabric is a type of fabric that is generically known as “trade show display graphic fabric” that readily accepts hook velcro, so that if you have several smaller display photos or graphics, either fabric on other printed materials, you can place them easily on the fabric if there are velcro tabs sewn or glued to the back side of the graphics.

Dye Sublimated Trade Show Graphics

My opinion of this type of fabric is that it looks a bit dated because dye sublimation printed fabric or cloth graphics just look more professional and the colors are much brighter and crisper if the entire display is printed. However, I understand why many companies still use this fabric – cost.

If you purchased a trade show pop up display 10 years ago, you may not want to budget a new trade show booth into your advertising budget, but my thought here is that if your booth looks dated, so will your company. Tired old graphics tend to make show attendees think, albeit it subconsciously, that your company is not on the cutting edge of your market.

Try this yourself – walk through a convention or trade show and see where your eye is drawn. It is my guess that instinctively, your eye will be drawn to booths that have cutting edge graphics, especially if they know what type of graphics and slogan catch your eye, or at least their target market’s eye.


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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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