Timeless and simple engineering: Retractable Banner Stands.
There is a really good reason why the gold standard in trade show displays are retractable banner stands — they are engineering perfected to a form follows function, where though there are some minor differences that will make some models a little tougher than others and some slightly flashier, the utter simplicity in the concept of how they work (like a window shade upside-down), yet even simpler, because they don’t have the sometimes finicky locking mechanism that window shades are famous for working when they want. They are designed with these major points: utterly reliable and self-protecting.
Tiny, huge, or somewhere between.
The smallest models are the size of a letter sheet of paper and designed to set on a table; there are a few options for ‘table top’ models that might be up to 3 feet tall, then floor-standing retractable banner stands typically are about 2 feet wide and 6-7 feet tall on the small side and up to about 5 feet wide and 7 feet tall; big enough to use as a back wall on a small trade show booth. You can also combine a couple together to make a bigger back wall; some models even have a bracket that is designed to hold them firmly together when assembling into a backwall so over the course of the exhibition they won’t be wandering around when somebody bumps into one.
Materials and sides; you have some options.
There are usually 3 types of materials available for retractable banner stands; a low grade vinyl, a high grade anti-curl vinyl and dye-sublimation print fabric. The better vendors of these products won’t even offer the low-grade vinyl because it will curl around on the edges over time as the tension on the material stretches it a little bit. Even vendors that carry the low quality material will recommend you upgrade; a classic bait and switch. If you see an amazingly low price that isn’t at APG, you better check if you are looking at the same quality of banner material. Many people wishing to take advantage of the latest in printing technology will opt for the dye-sublimation printing. Depending on your complete booth, you may wish to ensure your company pantone colors match between your table, backwall and banner stands, you should look into having similar material for the printing substrate. The premium vinyl may be a little ‘too shiny’ for your desire, but it’s often the best dollar value.
Many of the retractable banner stands available come in a 2-sided version as well. Consider where you will use your display, and if you even may only use it some of the time where it would be helpful to have two sides, consider if having the ability some of the time will be a better value than having two different banner stands and make an informed decision. Another consideration is if you will have multiple shapes and sizes, look for a make/model that has various sizes so there will be a similar look and feel between them.