How to Tell the Difference Between Banner Stands and Pop-up Stands…

When you’re new to exhibitions, some of the jargon that comes with the territory can be mind-boggling. For example:

  • Shell schemes – a basic exhibition stand space
  • Trackers – machines that scan and print visitor labels
  • Floods – a form of lighting used to highlight a big space
  • Foamex board – compressed foam typically used for signage.

You get the idea; there are lots of terms out there which are a bit confusing to the untrained eye.

That brings us neatly to the subject of display stands. At Marler Haley, we often get asked lots of questions about banner stands and pop-up stands. So it’s time to set the record straight on a few of the basics…

What’s the difference between a banner stand and a pop-up stand?

A banner stand is a portable display unit designed to carry a graphic, branding or corporate message. It’s called a ‘banner’ because it advertises your organisation or group – showing off how the brand looks, using appropriate language and being noticeable to people walking by.

This is what a banner stand looks like (it’s our best-selling Eco stand, please forgive the plug!)…


MH Eco banner stand

This type of stand is lightweight and easy to use – one person can usually carry and set a banner up in a couple of minutes.

A pop-up stand is another portable display unit, and again works as a form of advertising for your brand.  However, there are a few key differences you need to be aware of.

First, pop-up stands are wider than banner stands – typically two or three metres wide (banners are usually 800mm or 850mm). If banner stands are the equivalent of an advertising strip for your brand, a pop-up stand is more like wallpaper. This makes pop-ups handy if you’ve got a bigger exhibition stand – they can provide a seamless ‘back wall’ featuring your brand graphics.

Second, the mechanics of a pop-up stand look like a grid system (if you’re old enough to remember Meccano sets, that’s a pretty good comparison.) Simply open up the frame and the pop-up springs out.

Third, with pop-up stands you have the choice of hook graphics (that fit over the top of the stand) or magnetic graphics that click into place on magnetised slots.

Fourth, with many pop-up display ranges you can choose from a straight-edged stand (shaped like a lozenge), or a curved stand (like a wide U).

This is what a curved pop-up stand looks like (courtesy of our very own Veloce display)…  see how the ends curve towards us.

MH Veloce pop-up stand

Again, pop-up stands are quite quick to set up. If you’re experienced in using these stands you should be able to set one up on your own but they do take longer to erect than banners.

What about pull-up and roller banners, are they different?

Pull-up banners and roller banners are alternative names for banner stands. The graphics pull-up from the base (like a roller blind in reverse). There are two main types of banner stand. Roller banners are where the graphics are on a roller mechanism and recede into the stand. Tension banners have a pole with a bungee cord that pulls tight and fixes into place, and the graphic hooks over the top of the pole.

We hope you find this information useful but if there’s anything else you want to know about pop-up stands or banner stands, please ask us a question below or email our sales team for advice.

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