Materials For Trade Show Banners: Which To Choose?

Various Trade Show Banners
A Brief Review Of The "Pros And Cons" Of Various Trade Show Banners Substrates

As the trade show display world has advanced, so have the capabilities of large-format printers, which now allow printing on all sorts of different materials. Depending on the intended use, there are a few different banner substrates that are generally regarded as "go-to's", but figuring out which one will work best for your display is not always the easiest task. In today's advice article we take a look at the primary options, as well as positives and negatives for each.

1. Vinyl

Vinyl is by far the most widely used material for trade show banners. The main benefits of vinyl are that it's very inexpensive and can be used in a variety of applications; prints tend to be crisp and cleaning is easy. However, there are a couple of downsides. The first is that, outside of retractable banner stands, vinyl is hard to travel with. It can crease somewhat easily, which effectively ruins the overall look, and it tends towards the heavier side in weight. Additionally, vinyl trade show banners look as common as they are - if you're trying to create a more modern-looking display or booth area, vinyl is probably not the best choice.

2. PVC

PVC, which is a very thin and usually rollable plastic, is used most often for pop up displays and truss-based trade show exhibits. When used properly, PVC creates a very bright and vibrant print, and it is excellent for basically any displays that call for curved panels (due to its semi-rigidity). That being said, PVC does have some negative qualities. The first is that PVC is one of the costlier substrates when it comes to trade show banners, and it is probably the most difficult to travel with because it cannot be folded down; the best storage method is to roll the banners, but this typically requires additional storage cases, which come at a greater cost both to purchase and to ship.

3. Knit-Polyester Dye Sublimated Fabric

The newest "kid on the block," knit-polyester fabric is fast becoming the material of choice for trade show banners. It is incredibly lightweight and can be folded down tightly for storage (wrinkles can be removed just by spraying with water and hanging, similar to an article of clothing). The are printed using dye-sublimation, which puts the ink actually into the fabric as opposed to on top of it as with vinyl and PVC. This makes for a long-lasting print that usually does not dull over time. Knit polyester is relatively inexpensive, as well, however if you have a display where curved panels come into play, fabric will make for a difficult installation. Trade show banners come in all shapes, sizes, and materials these days. By evaluating which material is right for your display before purchasing, you'll be sure to have the sharpest looking booth possible.