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Tension Fabric Banner Stands: Are They Better?

By Todd Millett on October 11, 2017

Occasionally, we see a new type of display slide under the radar in the trade show world. This is what we are seeing with the latest Tension Fabric Banner Stands. Sometimes, something comes to the market that introduces new advantages or an opportunity to stand out, but it gets overlooked for the first few years. The trade show industry is visual, and many customers know what they want because they've seen it before. Perhaps this is why new trends can often take time to catch wind.


What is a Tension Fabric Banner Stand?

These displays are in the banner stand category because they are similar in size and shape as the more common retractable banner stands. However, they use a tubular inner framework with a full color dye-sublimation printed graphic that slides over the frame.

Tension Fabric Banner Stand VS Retractable Banner Stand

 A retractable banner stand is a traditional design with a graphic printed onto vinyl or a sheet of fabric that rolls up on a tensioner inside the base of the banner stand for transportation. When set up, the banner is pulled directly out from the base and connected to the top of a pole behind the banner. 

Tension fabric banner stands consist of a tubular framework. The tubes interconnect to set up the banner stand, and break down to pack away into a small carrying case. The graphic is printed onto a slightly stretchy, pillowcase-like material that slides over top of the frame and zips at the bottom.


Advantages of the Tension Fabric Design

Tension Fabric Trade Show Banner Stand

Appearance: By most standards, the tension fabric banner stands have a more modern appearance. At this point in time, they are also less common, which will help them stand out on the show floor. The curvature in the top corners and around the edges are smoother, and the base is less blocky.

Durability: With less moving parts and no internal mechanics to rely on, these banner stands can easily stand the test of time when taken care of properly. Retractable banner stands can loose tension over time and sometimes need to be sent in to be repaired. It is also easier to resolve any issues with creases or wrinkles in the banner.

Total Cost: The total cost of a tension fabric banner stand is usually equal or less than a similar sized retractable banner stand. However, if you change the design, the cost of the graphic alone is more expensive.

Uniformity: The tension fabric banner stand design can be paired with a full 8' or wider tension fabric backdrop display. This results in a clean appearance, with all display elements in your booth area looking uniform.

Multiple Graphics: Any design of Tension Fabric Banner Stand can have a double-sided graphic print, whereas only certain retractable designs have this feature. Also, if you wish to have more than one graphic that can be swapped out for the same frame, this can be done easily.


Advantages of Retractable Banner Stands

Retractable Banner Stand

Set-up Convenience: This is a big reason why retractable banner stands remain popular today. It takes almost no time to pull the banner out and connect the back pole in order to set them up. A tension fabric design will normally take about 5 minutes to set up.

Graphic Replacement Cost: The cost to replace a retractable banner graphic is less, because the process is not as dynamic and there are less materials involved. However, you will usually need to send your banner stand to us so we can open it up and change the graphic. It is not as user-friendly, and the graphics are not made to be swapped out regularly.

Graphic Storage: Since the graphic rolls up inside of the banner stand base, you do not have to worry about folding it and storing inside the case. Just make sure to be careful, because if the graphic does become creased, it can pose more problems.


Your Choice?

There is no right or wrong answer here. It seems that many people are still unaware of tension fabric banner stands, so we want to provide a resource for this information. As always, we like to clearly highlight the benefits of every display to help you choose which is best for you! If you are still unsure, we are happy to find out more about your display area and help in your decision process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via phone or email.





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