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Fabric Exhibition Display Stands – A Complete Guide

Once, your choice of exhibition display material was limited to vinyl or pvc. But then along came fabric. Its effect was game-changing.

Written by
Ella Faulkner
Internal Sales

In this post, we’ll explore the various benefits of fabric exhibition stands. Then, if you’re planning a new event stand for your print clients, we’ll help you tell your tension fabric display stand from your fabric roll display stand, so you choose the right option for them.

Why choose fabric display stands?

1. Impact

It’s not that you couldn’t achieve scale with vinyl. But when you do it with fabric you get crease-free, seamless impact with vibrancy that’s every bit as sharp and powerful as hard-printed media.

2. Variety

Monolithic. Curved (horizontally or vertically). Serpentine (which is the display stand that snakes its way through your exhibition space). And available in a huge range of sizes. With a fabric display, you simply have more options.

3. Longevity

Hard printed media delivered a powerful graphic punch. But sometimes, all that assembling, dismantling and transporting could leave your display stands looking a little battered, scratched and creased.

Fabric pop-up display stands are infinitely more forgiving. The dye sublimation process puts the ink into the fabric, so it can’t be scratched off or worn away. Many fabrics are washable. And when stretched across a frame, creases just disappear.

4. Portability

Yes, you’ll still have a lightweight aluminium frame to pop up and take down, but the fabric sleeves that cover them are ultra-lightweight and take up very little storage or transport space.

5. Glare

Or, more correctly, the lack of it. If you happened to end up in the wrong spot on the exhibition hall floor, there was always the risk that a spotlight high above (or your own stand lighting) could turn your vinyl event display materials into a mirror rather than a banner.

Choose a fabric exhibition stand, and you choose a medium that delivers its visual impact without the risk of reflections.

FREE DOWNLOAD: An Exhibition Checklist

Which fabric display stand is right for you?

They may be pop-up. They may be stretch fabric display stands. They may be designed for a one-off event or you may have plans to reuse them again and again. The beauty of a fabric exhibition stand is that they’ll go the distance with you.

In part, that’s down to the crease resistant, washable material that keeps its shape and vibrancy. In part it’s down to the dye sublimation process (see below). And in part it’s down to sheer versatility.

So what are your fabric exhibition stand options? Choose from:

  1. Fabric pop-up display stands
  2. Tension fabric display stand
  3. Outdoor fabric display stands
  4. Curved fabric display stands
  5. Fabric roll display stands

Fabric pop-up display stands

A fabric pop-up display stand comprises two elements:

  • A frame of lightweight aluminium
  • A fabric ‘sock’ that slips over the frame which, once the frame is tensioned, creates a dramatic display that spans, sweeps or curls around the display space

If you’re a veteran of setting up exhibition stands, you’ll know that marrying up the frame with the fabric could be a time consuming faff which usually involved fighting with heavy, fiddly frames and Velcro graphics panels that invariably refused to line up straight.

Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, as fabrics are pre-installed onto the frame. As you unfold the and lock it in place, your fabric popup display stand will always look the part.

Durability is supported by the dye-sublimation process. It’s a print process which uses heat to place inks into – rather than merely onto – the material, so it won’t peel, scratch, crack, flake or fade. It’s machine washable too.

FREE DOWNLOAD: An Exhibition Checklist

Tension fabric display stand

PVC banners and display stands can be hugely successful in terms of durability and impact, but if you’ve ever spent time trying to get an old PVC banner looking crease free for a promotion or expo, you’ll know that without lots of tlc (i.e., not scrunching them up and leaving them in a corner of the store cupboard) they can look as though you forgot the iron.

That’s the beauty of stretch fabric display stands. Because it’s fabric, you get a display that’s sleek and pristine, and where the act of stretching across the frame removes creases.

Stands are available in a vast range of sizes, and you don’t have to stick with standard squares and rectangles. Consider introducing curves and waves to add greater visual impact.

Outdoor fabric display stands

When they’re exposed to the elements, your choice of fabric display stand becomes even more crucial. Weatherproof is essential, of course and, if you want the display stand to be reusable, you’ll want print that won’t fade under UV.

Beyond that, we’d suggest it’s about the achieving the right mix of fabrics so you can tailor your stand to the conditions while retaining impact. A combination of air mesh textiles for frame-mounts, PVC-free banners, acrylic fabrics for corporate gazebos and outdoor floor coverings can create a powerful yet durable impression.    

Curved fabric display stands

Add some sweeping curves to your fabric display stand and you can create a versatile friend. At scale it can form the dramatic backdrop to your exhibition stand, creating flowing, fascinating shapes while everyone else in the hall sticks to traditional straight edges and angles.

In more modest proportions, a curved fabric stand can create a discrete meeting booth ideal for the showroom floor, the open plan office or the retail space. In a shopping mall, for example, it’s a great way for a pop-up retailer to create a space slightly removed from the general hubbub.

FREE DOWNLOAD: An Exhibition Checklist

Fabric roll display stands

If you’re looking for a fabric roller banner of the sort you’ll typically find in vinyl, you’ll need to slightly adjust expectations. You can find a fabric roll display stand at roughly the same dimensions as the traditional roller banner, but to give it rigidity and durability, you’ll assemble it on a lightweight tubular frame that is invisible once assembly is complete.

It’s an approach that gives fabric roll display stands some big advantages over their vinyl counterparts:

  • You can use a range of banners with a single frame, switching them out depending on the event/circumstances, which makes the fabric roll display stand a versatile and cost-effective option
  • You can print one image on both sides, giving it greater visibility; or
  • Print two different images on each surface, giving greater versatility or variety
  • Want to switch banners? Additional fabric banners take up hardly any storage space, and you can switch them in seconds.

Talk to us about fabric exhibition display stand options for your print clients.

Exhibition Checklist - Free Download