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.
Installation: Panel System
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.
Installation: Pop Up Display Booth
With 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.
Changing the Graphics
As 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.
Targeting Audiences at Different Events
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.
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.
These 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.
Barry K. 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! He has been marketing these products online since 1998, and the company he was general manager of in 1998 was the first sign company to be listed on Yahoo!