Fabric Event Displays

Taking advantage of fabric's versatility to create great experiences

When attending a trade show or event, you are likely to look around and see fabric structure displays at every turn. There are reasons that fabric structures are so widely adopted: they offer a sophisticated look, are easy to use and the customization possibilities are limitless. In addition to trade show applications, fabric displays can be used in interior environments such as retail environments and spaces; spas and health facilities; schools and educational facilities; beauty establishments; transportation facilities like train and bus stations; places of entertainment such as movie theaters;, hospitality establishments; and more.

Fabric graphics have altered the approach to trade show and event displays due to their unique versatility. This lightweight substrate is easy to pack and ship, making it an ideal choice over other substrates for trade show applications. Dye sublimation printing offers vibrant, rich and consistent color application and allows color matching to a wide range of skin tones, rich blacks and textures on evolving materials. With dye-sublimation printing becoming available on such a large scale, it has shaped not only the products being produced but the fabrics being used as well, with the incorporation of different materials to enhance durability, stretch, opacity and more.

There are a number of displays that would be categorized as fabric structures. For example, Orbus Exhibit & Display Group offers collapsible displays, modular displays, the Formulate Line of tension fabric displays and custom modular solutions that all feature fabric graphics. Each display solution utilizes a different application for its fabric graphic.

Silicone Edge Graphics (SEG) are finished with a thin silicone strip and used with extrusion-based frame systems such as Orbus’ Embrace and Xclaim collapsible displays, Vector Frame poster displays and exhibit kits and Hybrid Pro Modular exhibit kits and accessories. Heavy-duty hook and loop graphic applications are used in Orbus’ Hopup collapsible displays, Orbital Express Truss modular exhibit kits and a number of accents and accessories. Pillowcase fabric graphics slip over an aluminum tube frame and include a zipper closure. These are used in Orbus’ Modulate line and Formulate line, which includes backwalls, inline and island exhibits, hanging structures, architectural structures, counters, kiosks and more.

Illuminated and backlit displays are a major trend in fabric display solutions, adding illumination to dye-sublimated graphics that already feature realistic, color rich visuals to make them stand out even more. Lighting draws attention to messaging and branding and makes colors pop. Orbus offers illuminated versions of a number of popular displays including Hopup Backlit, Embrace Backlit and Formulate Backlit backwalls, towers and hanging structures.

Another major demand is soft signage being incorporated as permanent fixtures in interior environments. For example, retailers utilize hanging structures to visually identify and separate sections of a store. Fabric kiosks and iPad stands are being used as self-check-in stations in entrance or lobby spaces in various environments. Backwalls and banner stands are incorporated at activity-focused facilities for photo opportunities such as escape-room team photos.

The growth in systems that use fabric graphics has also allowed for growth in the rental exhibit offerings. Orbus offers a number of exhibit and display solutions in which a customer can rent a frame and purchase their own fabric graphics that they retain. This translates to significant cost savings over purchasing an entire exhibit system. If a customer decides that they love the system, it can always be purchased at a later date and graphics can be reused or new graphics can be purchased. This provides an unmatched versatility in the trade show environment, creating a unique look for each show attended.

In addition to off-the-shelf and rental solutions, Orbus has more than 40 years of experience in the design, construction, project management and fulfillment of custom and custom modular exhibits. Orbus works with dealer’s designs and offers its customers a team of exhibit/display designers on staff to work with those that need assistance in the creation or fine-tuning of these custom exhibits.  Additionally, Orbus has an entire manufacturing and fabrication facility in-house along with a team of expert craftsmen, metal working professionals and skilled welding technicians who produce the required framework to spec. To create the best quality custom printed and finished graphics to accompany these custom frames, Orbus prints on more than 23 graphic materials. Fabrics are incorporated in every custom exhibit in one way or another, usually large scale hanging structures or fabric-focused backwalls.

With the versatility of fabrics, off-the-shelf and custom exhibits and displays can feature unique visual elements, angles and branding opportunities that haven’t been seen before. As materials and equipment advance, the opportunity for customization continues to grow.

Alex Frederick

Alex Frederick is a Chicagoland native and marketing professional working in the event, trade show exhibit and display industry.

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Charlie Fox

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