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The Sign for Every Man

Banner Stands Span Industries

By Melissa Donovan

Banner stands require little installation time, provide portability, and allow users to change out graphics on the fly. It is no wonder that more print service providers (PSPs) offer banner stands bundled with printed graphics to their customers. Providing an end-to-end solution benefits both the client and the printer. It provides one contact for the customer should anything go awry. PSPs can capitalize on more business with an all-in-one product.

Banner stands are used in every industry, for example, Standzall Display Systems' displays are used by the motion picture, entertainment, display, theatrical, trade show, and special event industries.

Standzall's ST-1 stand is designed for rigid panels such as foam core. An alternative to traditional banner stands, the composition of the entire system involves adjustable brackets. The stands are used in pairs, and consist of a flat steel baseplate with a fixed upright and a sliding adjustable L-bracket. To assemble, the display graphic is placed between the uprights and the sliding bracket is tightened in place against the back of the panel. ST-1 stands hold graphics up to two inches thick. The ST-2 model is similar except it is equipped with two sliding brackets and holds items up to four inches wide.

"Banner stands are so widely used because they send a message anywhere audiences congregate. Being lightweight, portable, and easy to set up means they can deliver a message on target. Banner stands are versatile; they are ideal for directional, promotional, or event scheduling purposes," shares Michael Kurilec, managing director, Expolinc Americas.

"It is hard to find an industry or business that isn't using banner stands. Just thinking about the places where our banner stands are used successfully, we run the full gamut--from traveling kits for sales persons to first-time chamber of commerce show exhibitors, major corporate exhibitions, small regional to large multi-national banks, hospitals, churches, state and federal government projects, major national museums, POP applications, and corporate boardrooms and lobbies. All of these applications are driven by the same factors--the unbeatable portability, flexibility, and value of effective banner stands as premier tools of visual communication," says Larry Ragland, president, Mark Bric Display Corporation.

The One Stop Shop
Financial benefits are great when banner stands are involved. Additionally, the odds of a client becoming a repeat customer drastically increase. "PSPs receive additional revenue when they provide the option of a banner stand. They also become a single source for coordination in what used to be a very complicated process. Additionally, PSPs become the point person instead of the outsourced supplier. They interact with the customer and have a better chance of seeing a return," explains Kurilec.

Expolinc's Roll Up Classic banner display is available in silver or black in widths of 27, 33, 39, 45, and 57 inches and heights of 57, 76, 84, and 96 inches. The standard package is a Roll Up with the customer's choice of color, width, and height; all bundled with the needed hardware in a soft carry case. Offshoots of the Roll Up brand include Roll Up Professional--for a more elegant look, and Roll Up Promotion--for one-time use in a POP environment.

Another benefit of offering banner stands in-house is the ability to strengthen and grow business, ultimately cutting into competitors' customer bases. Companies can capture local business which otherwise would be lost to large trade show display and Internet-based banner stand companies according to Bob Holland, marketing manager, Standzall.

Proper customer service is essential to any sign shop. "By offering the display as well as the print, a PSP becomes a single point of contact, creating greater customer loyalty and securing long-term customers," adds Brian Knoop, VP of sales, Creative Banner Assemblies.

Use It or Lose It
Banner stand usage increased due to price decreases and technology advancements. "The dramatically lower costs of banner stands make them a much more viable option and reduced the barrier to entry into the market for many potential customers. That is why you now see them in almost every trade show booth, in retail stores both large and small, as well as in other small businesses," explains Robb Northup, marketing communications manager, Southern Imperial, Inc.

Southern Imperial's Deluxe Roll-Up banner stand features a clip-style top-rail for easy installation of graphics, requiring no adhesive. A chrome-base design enhances trade show exhibit presentation, which is this banner stand's primary market. The company also offers Poster Stands, popular in retail environments they provide a quick and easy way to switch out graphics.

"The prices for stands have come down over the years and less expensive imports have also impacted prices. The convenience of retractable stands and their ease of use contributed to increased popularity. Outdoor stands experience increased demand as more events use displays," agrees Phil Vicino, director of sales and marketing, Orbus Company.

"Companies realize that semi-permanent, large modular displays are not as cost effective since their usage is limited and usually requires a team to set up or build them. With portable displays, end users can assemble themselves and use them in almost any location and configuration needed to present their marketing message," states Ed Fedorowich, marketing department, Expand International of America, Inc.

"Regarding indoor banner stand displays, perhaps the main driving force is the growing availability of high-quality wide format digital prints, and the customer's desire to put print output to the best possible use," admits Ragland.

Mark Bric's BannerUp series utilizes the company's patented Quick-Change feature, which allows banners to be installed and exchanged in minutes. The series includes products in six widths ranging from ten inches to five feet. BannerUp Original consists of steel with a black/grey pebble-finish powder coat and BannerUp Plus is constructed from clear coat anodized aluminum. All models come with a ten year warranty.

Velcro, Magnets, and More
Many vendors have created numerous products to simplify graphic installation. For example, Expand developed several patented products--removable graphic cassettes and low-tension retractable display options--that advance the installation technique. Both of these products make it easier for customers to switch graphics out by themselves.

Expand's QuickScreen 3 retractable banner stand is available in a silver finish, it also comes in seven different end caps including amber, blue, chrome, green, grey, red, and transparent. Weighing less than 12 pounds, QuickScreen 3 is available in three widths--19 11/16, 33 7/16, and 39 3/8 inches and the height adjusts from 63 to 88 5/8 inches.

"In the past banner stands required a hex tool to manage the graphic. Now with our Banner Bugs, which use velcro, attaching and removing the graphic makes installation much more user friendly" shares Helen O'Bryant, banner stand product manager, Drytac Corporation.

"The most popular style is the retractor display. More styles and designs on the market allow for easy installation, simple banner storage, and transportability. Feedback from the market continues to drive innovation and improvements to deliver new and improved products," Chelsea Favreau, marketing communications manager, Creative Banner Assemblies.

A Banner Environment
Feeding into the popular "green" movement many manufacturers offer stands made out of bamboo, a renewable resource, which is cited as the fastest growing plant on earth.

Drytac is one such company. "The environment is a very important factor when making choices on what products to carry. We've introduced the Panda Stand, which is our line of eco-friendly banner and literature stands. Not only do they provide a soft look, they are also environmentally friendly while providing the same visual impact of a regular banner stand," explains O'Bryant.

The company's eco-friendly bamboo Panda Stand is made from 90 percent renewable resources with a low-impact argo-forestry product. A retractable banner stand, the portable display holds media up to 78.74 inches high by 31.5 inches wide. The entire package comes with bamboo housing, support pole, top rail with double-sided tape, and a padded cotton carrying bag.

Creative Banner Assemblies also supplies an eco-friendly bamboo banner display. A retractor model, the stand houses a rolled graphic and poles all-in-one.

According to Favreau assembly of the display is easy. The banner attaches to the top rail and a bottom roller with double-sided banner tape.

Vendors also broaden the range of substrates compatible with banner stands to include eco-friendly media, such as fabrics. "The green movement continues to expand and one obvious banner stand accommodation is the evolving fabric options for graphics that are biodegradable and earth friendly," comments Terry Moore, strategic planning and marketing team leader, EXPOGO Displays & Graphics, Inc.

EXPOGO offers both retractable and non-retractable MagicPak banner stands. The retractable is available for graphics measuring 33.5x79 inches and boasts black or silver hardware options. Non-retractables, as well as double-sided units, and XL versions--measuring 48x98 inches--are also available. All variations can be stowed in either the SmartPakIQ or SmartPak Banner Cases to provide blow-molded protection during transportation.

Besides the physical product, the simple act of reusing a banner stand is also considered eco-friendly. "Reuse and recycle is accomplished with the majority of banner stands and the materials they are made from including plastic and aluminum. We encourage customers to reuse these units and recycle the stands when they have served their useful life," shares Vicino.

Orbus' Orient banner stand is the company's best selling product, it is available in three sizes--800, 920, and 1,000 millimeters and two colors--black and silver. A leader strip mounting system is used to install graphics. Vinyl banner application is recommended for this stand and dye-sublimation graphics are also compatible as an upgrade option.

It is important to reduce the amount of energy needed to manufacture a product as well as reduce the number of extra products on the market, cautions Fedorowich. "One way of reducing extra products in the market is to purchase higher quality displays, for example, one with a lifetime warranty. If it breaks, it gets fixed by the manufacturer. Many times repair costs are covered under the warranty or there is a small fee," he adds.

Like any other graphic arts segments involved in the eco-friendly debate, there are still no set perimeters defining what makes a banner stand environmentally friendly. Ragland believes this is a good challenge for the industry to overcome. "I think that the real challenge is finding ways to more accurately gauge the true 'green-ness' of products and processes. I'm not aware of any agreed-upon official rating or certification process that applies directly to our industry, but this would be a good candidate for consideration by some of the various boards and trade groups in the field," he explains.

Exceeding Expectations
The growth of banner stand display usage into countless numbers of industries depicts its staying power. This product offers an excellent source of income for any PSP looking to expand their client base. They can package a display stand, graphic, and design services together at a great price.

Banner stands offer the convenience of one stop shopping to customers. Taking into account the portability and ease-of-installation of banner stands, it is hard not to want to offer this product. The rapid spread from the trade show industry into more sophisticated sectors such as entertainment and retail is understandable. Especially in this economy, banner stands are an excellent way to promote a message or product at perhaps half the cost of traditional wide format signage.

Oct2009, Digital Output

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