Shopping for Stands
Some banner stand manufacturers relay stories of competitive banner stands that—while priced at budget-friendly prices—are made of inferior materials by questionable sources. These options lose their luster when faced with retail and trade show environments.
Banner stands are designed to help graphics stand strong and tall, and consist of strong materials that withstand heavy wear and tear, and even outdoor conditions. Carefully crafted components make installation and change-outs easy for the graphics supplier and the user.
Here, we look at some of the leading manufacturers to see the nuts and bolts of a banner stand, unique mechanisms, and the graphics installation process.
Nuts and Bolts
"Used in the U.S. for more than 15 years, Accenta Display Corporation has a track record for banner stands that withhold handling in high-traffic areas such as fast food chains or airports," says Christer Wernerdal, director, U.S. operations, Accenta. The company designs, manufactures, and distributes a range of portable point of purchase (POP) and custom trade show displays, and also provides design and graphics production services.
The Accenta ImageStand 1 banner stand has a sleek fish-shaped foot made of cast aluminum and a special lacquer finish for durability. In addition, an optional travel bag features a protective cylinder to keep visuals clean.
Hill says that Drytac always looks for innovative materials and display styles. Drytac’s Banner Bug line is the company’s best-selling banner stand. It features seven widths from eight-and-a-half to 72 inches wide. "Customers consistently tell us that the Banner Bug banner stands are one of the strongest and most durable banner stands on the market," he says. All of Drytac’s banner stands are manufactured in China with the exception of the Banner Bug and Banner Buddy, which are manufactured in Australia.
Environmental impact is heavily scrutinized in all markets, especially graphics and displays. "Since sustainability is often on people’s minds when choosing display products, we offer Panda Stand retractable and L-framed banner stands made out of bamboo," notes Hill. "Bamboo is a strong and fast-growing wood, so it is a natural fit for a more eco-friendly display."
Expand’s QuickScreen 3 retractable display is made of lightweight aluminum and plastic, and it weighs around 15 pounds with a graphic. The Expand QuickScreen 3 has an MSRP of $579 and features a patented removable graphics cassette. This allows the user to quickly change messages. The unit also offers a telescopic pole to vary the message height 63 to 88 5/8 inches high. A choice of seven different colored insert kits complement the graphic—transparent, gray, blue, red, green, amber, or chrome. The Expand QuickScreen 3 offers a lifetime warranty.
The Expand M2 and the Expand MediaScreen 4 feature a unique, patented Modular Tension System (MTS) to retract the graphic, instead of a spring like traditional roll ups. "The MTS generates an even tension as the graphic is pulled up. When the graphic is fully retracted into the base, it can easily be removed by the push of a lever. This technology allows the user to change their message in a snap," says Fedorowich.
He shares that the Expand MediaScreen 2 outdoor—launched about two years ago—is the world’s first, outdoor, portable, retractable display. Its patented design allows it to be completely weather-resistant in wind, rain, or snow. The internal and exterior components were designed to be non-corrosive and rust resistant. Drainage holes in the bottom allow water and sand to escape. "The biggest advantage that this display has is that it does not need water or sand bags to weigh it down. The unit is transported in two padded, nylon carry bags. This allows the weight of the display to be divided evenly into the two bags, each weighing approximately 15 pounds," notes Fedorowich.
Expand strives to use materials that do not exhaust natural resources. Aluminum is utilized for the majority of their products. It is lightweight, reusable, and can be recovered with very little energy. Almost all pieces of Expand products are recyclable.
"We were one of the first U.S. distributors of the original Swedish-made retractable and non-retractable banner systems that we re-branded as MagicPak. They still remain one of the most reliable and well-built banner stands on the market today," says Terry Moore, strategic planning and marketing team leader, EXPOGO Displays & Graphics, Inc. MagicPak stands come with carbon fiber rods and heavy duty extruded aluminum bases. Designed for indoor use, retractable MagicPaks are stocked in 33.5x80- and 47x85-inch versions and are able to be special ordered in unique sizes and double-sided units.
Roll Up Professional is Expolinc’s premier retractable banner stand. "It consists of the highest quality of aluminum—the same that is used in fighter jets—and we also include zinc on the ends to provide a stronger, sturdier base," states Kurilec. The Roll Up Professional is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Kurilec adds that the Roll Up Professional is a leading seller, despite its cost. "People love its sleek look, ease of use, and the ability to change the graphic easily and cost effectively," he shares.
"Mark Bric Display Corporation’s stands are produced using the best materials available, most of which are easily recycled—aluminum, steel, and molded plastics. We aim for being ‘green’ by building products intended to provide service for many years, along with the ability to recycle much of the material at the end of product life," says Larry Ragland, president, Mark Bric.
The BannerUp Plus is Mark Bric’s best-selling line of retractable banner stands. It carries a ten year warranty. A built-in patented quick-change banner feature allows PSPs to replace graphics in the cassette almost instantly. The stand also offers the ability to adjust tension and to re-tension in the field.
"Orbus Company designs and provides display hardware to the trade show and POP industries," says Patrick Carrig, sales manager, Orbus.
The company offers banner stands for one time events or for years of service, and the products are given a quality rating—economy, affordable, premium, deluxe—which can be viewed on the company’s Web site. The products are made of aluminum and plastics, and are manufactured to the company’s specifications in China. The Orient is Orbus’ most popular banner stand, available in black and silver, single- or double-sided, and in three sizes.
Standzall Display Systems, a division of special event décor company Fandango Special Events, Inc., offers a heavy duty base stand for holding up rigid-panel graphics for applications such as press and event walls, signs, trade show booths, and temporary lattice or fencing. "We invented the Standzall display stand to hold up scenery and lattice, but the wide format printing industry found that the stand was perfect for press walls, and that is now its primary use," states Bob Holland, marketing manager, Standzall. The stands are manufactured in Newbury Park, CA and used by companies such as Creative Graphic Services, Display ABC Studios, and Paramount Pictures.
Standzall’s ST-1 continues to be the most popular stand for rigid-panel press walls. It features heavy-duty construction to make it rigid and stable. Zinc-plated steel prevents rust and accepts paint if an end user decides to paint the stands to coordinate with their application. "It is very durable, so it lasts a long time and customers receive a return on their investment," says Holland.
Testrite Visual Products, Inc., an American manufacturer, celebrates 90 years in business. The company provides a range of banner stands specifically targeted toward the exhibit market including pop-ups, Wave Walls, retractable banner stands, and more.
The Roll Up 100.080 is Tex Visions’ best-selling banner stand. The stand is made of a lightweight aluminum. "Using aluminum keeps the banner stand lightweight for easy transportation," states Ashley Werner, marketing manager, Tex Visions. The Roll Up 100.080 is available in a double-sided option and it features an adjustable pole, which allows the print to vary in height. To keep consumer costs low, Tex Visions purchases banner stand hardware from overseas. The company supplies graphics, including flags, banners, and umbrellas, printed in its Carlisle, PA production facility.
Stand Strong and Tall
Banner stands are often a crucial factor in longevity and appearance. Many options are available—from economy models to weather-resistant, long-term use.
Banner stands give a finished, professional look and protect graphics for the end user. For PSPs, they offer another revenue source and a customer service highlight. Next week read about banner stands in part two of our series. We focus on installation techniques and the newest products available from select companies.