Pop Up Display vs Tension Fabric Back Wall: Which One Is Better?

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Categories: Pop Up Displays
When exhibitors and event marketers are trying to make a determination between different types of back walls for their booth, they often wonder what may be the best route to go between a traditional pop-up display and the tension fabric back wall. Both actually serve the same purpose and provide a branded back wall for most standard size booth spaces. However, these two options have a number of differences that you may want to consider when making a decision. This article will help to explain the difference between the two.

Traditional Pop-Up Displays in a Nutshell


Tradeshow Pop Up Displays (or as I often refer to them as traditional Pop-Up Displays), were the first type of truly portable back wall display to hit the market many years ago. For exhibitors that have been around the tradeshow circuit for a long time, you are probably very aware of the style displays. While they come in straight or curved versions and have different sizes, the most popular is the 10 foot curved. These are the accordion style frames that simply expand and lock in place. From there the laminated graphic panels are hung from the top pegs and attach onto the accordion frame with magnets. When all the graphics panels are attached the Pop Up Display looks like a mural with your graphic artwork. These Pop Up Displays typically come with a hard travel case with wheels that also doubles as a podium that you can use. There is a podium graphic that can wrap around the hard case that ultimately gives your space a nice branded look.


Tension Fabric Back Wall Displays


Most tension fabric back walls utilize an aluminum pushpin tube frame system. This frame system is very easy to set up and snaps together quickly. One person can assemble up back wall in just minutes. Usually, this type of frame can be set up on the ground first and then the printed fabric cover simply slips over the frame like a pillowcase and zips shut. This is a very lightweight and portable option that is easy to set up and has become extremely popular over the last decade. While this type of display may or may not include a hard travel case, there are counters of the same style as the back wall that can be used to fully brand out your booth.

So which one is better?


To answer the question which display option is ultimately better than the other, it really depends on what you’re looking for. I wish it were that easy to just pick one over the other but they both have their pros and cons. The Traditional Pop Up Displays tend to be heavy because of the laminated graphic panels with magnets and this is probably the biggest downside. Whereas the tension fabric back wall displays are much lighter and can be taken on an airplane and checked luggage. Another downside to the traditional pop-up display is that the graphics are laminated panels which have to line up perfectly in order for the graphic mural to look great. The tension fabric back wall is a one-piece fabric graphic so there is never any issue with trying to get the graphic to look right. Quite possibly the only thing to contend with the tension fabric graphic is creases or wrinkles after it’s been stored for a while, but the material over the years has really improved and we are not seeing many issues with this any longer.

So this brings us to the point of overall preference. The traditional pop-up displays have a bigger look. They tend to look more substantial because it’s a heavier and bigger display and to be perfectly honest some exhibitors really still prefer this. The tension fabric back wall is lighter weight and often gives the appearance of more like a screen and less of a wall. Last but not least is the price of the traditional Pop-Up Displays which is about 40% more expensive. This is mainly due to the size and the graphics printing process needed for the laminate graphics which is a more expensive material than the fabric. If it were up to me I would probably prefer a pop-up display by redoing a local show right and have to ship something so heavy that can be up to 95 pounds for a 10-foot display. The fabric back walls are something that can be used when you have to ship to a show and don’t want to pay the high shipping cost.

As you can see they both have their pros and cons, and ultimately at the end of the day it will come down to budget and style preference but at least these are a couple of the main points between these two great classic displays that will help you make a buying decision when the time comes.

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