Misconceptions About Portable Displays
You could be sitting there reading this and thinking “Portable displays aren’t for me” and to be honest I don’t know if they are, but maybe you could spare a few minutes to read on and decide from there?
In my 9 years in the exhibition and display industry I have come across a number of common perceptions in regards to portable display equipment that have just enough truth to them that people believe them to be undeniable fact. I’m going to cover a few of them here and open up the discussion to see if they could help you in the future.
“That stuff is only good for exhibitions”
If you said this you would not be completely wrong. Portable displays are good solutions for exhibitions and exhibition stands. But by limiting their use to exhibitions alone you are vastly reducing their scope. I have had clients use portable display as backdrops for a stage, collateral for their reps to use, to fill a space at a conference, as directional signage for their live event, as sponsors’ branding in hotel foyers and even to help prevent the spread of diseases in a hospital. Who would have thought you could use some roller banners to save the world?!?
“It looks tatty and unprofessional”
Right again because so many portable displays do. Of course there are a couple of factors that play into this; the first is the care and attention paid to putting them together correctly and keeping them in good condition, which comes down to training the users and giving them accountability for any damage. The second is one that you can have more control over – the materials that are used. The old adage “If you buy cheap, you buy twice” runs true here. If you want to portray a professional image make sure you spend money on the right materials. A banner with no stoplight material on the back will wash out completely under good lighting; a pop up with graphic panels that are too thin or made from material that is too flexible will not hold the curve that you want it to or create that nice, seamless image that you saw in the proof.
“It costs a fortune to rebrand Portable Stands all the time”
It can do, especially if you are buying a budget banner that needs a new message on it every three months, or you are trying to change a single panel on a pop up display to fit a new promotion. You can save money here though. Hopefully your supplier will ask you some questions relating to the usage and rebranding possibilities in the future. You might find a more expensive banner that you can fit rebranded graphics to will be a better fit for you; or perhaps you could avoid colour matching problems by printing additional panels for your pop up at the time you order the originals, saving getting the whole unit redone. Perhaps it is as simple as considering the design that you are using to make it as future proof as possible. Discuss it in detail with someone who knows the questions to ask, that way you never end up asking for the price of a reprint, they will give you a schedule of what it will cost you and when.
“They don’t last the distance”
What does these days? Interestingly, the answer to that is, “Some portable displays”. Some even come with lifetime guarantees on the hardware. Buy the right kind of pop up or roller banner and it might be the last piece of hardware that you ever buy, at least until you become so successful that you need more equipment to cover all of the events you are going to or the reps that you have. Again it comes down to asking the right questions – do you have a load of reps who will just leave them to roll around in the back of the car, for example? Perhaps it would be better to invest in the more robust unit now, than in 4 basic banners and the subsequent new banners to replace them once they have been trashed.
“They take ages to set up”
They certainly can, in fact one of the trends over the last 5 years has been to ‘look different’ so a lot of people have abandoned their traditional roller banners or pop up displays in favour of portable aluminium structures that take hours to construct. Of course this comes with the drawback of having to lug something around that can be heavier than traditional portable items, you could need several cases for the hardware and graphics and you might need to remember the tool kit as well.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some systems that can look outstanding with the right layout and graphics, and there are some that are simpler to use but they will still take some time to construct. There are, however, several portable displays that take no time at all – if you are going to a conference where you can get in at 9am and have to be ready to speak to people at 9.30 then you are going to need the right system. No one wants to be the one panicking at 9.25 or, even worse, the one still setting up whilst their potential customers wander past to speak to their competitors.
All of these issues boil down to one solution – speak to the right person when looking at your schedule. There are loads of experts out there in the field; find one that you trust to give you the advice on what is going to be best for you.