Trade Show Marketing – Maximize Your Marketing Dollars With Fabric

With the advent of an uncertain economy, a recent design trend couldn’t come at a better time. With much needed emphasis on stretching promo dollars, “fabric architecture” has made a significant impact on the design and construction of displays for trade show marketing, experiential events, and retail interiors.

Fabric graphics have been around for a long time but fabric architecture is a relatively new discipline that uses an aluminum frame bent to form a shape. Fabric is stretched over this skeleton frame to form a skin that conforms to the shape of the frame.

Trade Shows will remain at the top of effective marketing campaigns. There is no substitute for face-to-face and hands-on product experience, but in the current economy, promotion dollars are in short supply. Display dollars must be spent wisely, starting with the design and fabrication of an exhibit that gives you a distinctive presence and defines a difference between you and your competitors.

Big and bold is usually better for achieving this objective but big and bold doesn’t necessarily mean big dollars. Combining bold photos and graphics with fabric now presents a new world of design options that could not be considered before. Fabric architecture has become the method and material of choice for cost-conscious marketing and eco-friendly promotion managers. Fabric architecture is particularly well suited for staging large events where big, bold graphics are required, indoors or out.        

Fabric architecture is the new equalizer. You might not be the largest display in the event but your image can be big and bold with fabric graphics and fabric architecture.

Fabric is not the solution for all display designs. Rigid panel graphics are still the standard for exhibiting, and significant advances in large-format graphics in recent years have improved and expanded the application of both rigid and flexible, laminated graphics. There are many applications, which require the “solid” features of these rigid materials for appearance and strength, but fabric has some distinct advantages.

Fabric graphics can be printed in a single, large panel whereas rigid panels have to be “tiled” together to make a large image. This makes for a larger and bulkier shipping container. Not so with fabric graphics. Fabric can be rolled or folded for shipping and fabric takes up little space, thus, requiring a smaller, lighter shipping container. Smudges and marks can be washed out should the fabric get soiled.

How Fabric Stretches your Budget:

From a creative standpoint, fabric architecture can execute designs that can’t be achieved with rigid wall fabrication. Fabric structures are organic and fluid in that the fabric skin can flow from point to point, much like human skin. Fabric graphics can take on the look, shape, and texture of a range of materials and structures to convey the quality and feel of your product or service. The fabric graphic skin can replicate nearly any surface from water to brick and stone.

The internal skeletal frame can be bent to represent nearly any shape from building blocks to such diverse shapes as trumpet cones, animal forms, or other abstract shapes. The skeleton is an ultra light aluminum frame over which printed fabric graphics are stretched. This method of fabrication makes possible mega-size structures, yet the structure remains very light in weight, with a very elegant look, and a high-impact message.

Fabrics can be opaque or sheer and semi-transparent. Fabric graphics may be front or back lit. Nearly any mood can be created from soothing, low-light glow to a high-energy, pulse-pounding environment that changes color with variable frequency.

Graphics can be printed directly on fabric, projected onto fabric as a projection surface, or projected through sheer fabric as backlit or translucent material. With the various options of solid, translucent and backlighting, fabric architecture can take advantage of dramatic lighting effects using programmable theatrical lights. Sheer, see-through fabric graphics are one fabric option that is very sophisticated, particularly when lighted by programmable LED wash lights. The result for your exhibit presentation is a presence that sets you apart from your static competition.

Fabric architecture is versatile, creative, and makes sense. Fabric saves time and costs in fabrication, shipping, and setup, while offering a totally custom look.

Savings are realized at every stage of your planning, budgeting and execution.

These savings include:

– Construction – Fabric architecture uses cost-effective materials, and simple construction, even for complex shapes.

– Shipping, drayage, installation, and take down – Materials are lightweight and compact, requiring smaller shipping cases and less shipping weight.

– Updating – fabric graphics stretched, pillow case style, over an aluminum frame provides an ideal means of updating and changing your theme, your message, your graphics, your mood, and your mind on short notice. The skin graphics can be changed to meet a variety of show themes while minimizing most other show expenses. Simply print a new skin for your skeleton frame.

– Maintenance – Fabric architecture is less likely to be damaged in shipment and easy to replace if the worst happens.

– Modularity – sections of your display can be combined with stock and custom elements to meet size requirements for large and small space allocations.                    

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