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Pop Up Display Secrets -- Direct from the Source

If Only a Pop-Up Display Could Speak

As you can imagine, pop up displays have secrets. Although they usually don’t share their stories, they’ve decided it’s about time to reveal them in the hopes of improving the lives of all pop ups. Pop Up Secrets . . . Direct from the Source!

Secret #1: We're Not All the Same

We’re just like you. We may look similar, but some pop ups are fragile while others are strong. Some are built to withstand years of trade show abuse. Those pop ups get shipped from show to show and assembled by rough inexperienced hands and continue to do their job year after year. Others are not as robust. They must be handled with TLC and their lifespan is much shorter. How do you know the difference? Sometimes it’s difficult to tell, but just like any product, whether it’s a car, shoes, or tools, price is a good indicator of quality and features. There’s always a reason why one pop up costs $999 and another $1,999.

Secret #2: We Love Graphics

We’re exhibitionists by nature and graphics draw attention. The more eyeballs staring at us the happier we are. However, we are also very picky, some would say egotistical, about our appearance. We love large graphics. These can be full mural graphics or Velcro-attached graphics to fabric panels. If you want to humiliate us in front of our friends at a trade show, just slap on graphics you printed from your home or office printer. It’s the pop up equivalent of attending a formal black tie event wearing Larry the Cable Guy’s flannel shirt . . . with Larry’s “too friendly” cousin as your date.

Secret #3: Warranty

The warranty is the dirty little secret within the pop up community. Most pop up displays have a limited or lifetime warranty. We want to be liked and a warranty, like the smell of your grandmother’s rose water perfume, evokes pleasant, happy thoughts. Not to be too rude, but you are a sucker for the lifetime warranty promise. Here’s the reality: Quality pop ups from reputable companies honor their warranty. And, if they are truly reputable, you’ll never need to use the warranty since good pop up displays are designed to withstand typical trade show abuse.

Lesser quality pop ups, those from dubious companies and a questionable engineering, frequently break and getting them back to 100 percent can be a challenge. Parts are difficult to obtain and even worse, there is rarely a national support system. Lesser pop ups often attempt to camouflage or obscure their identity. They don’t want you to know where they were made and by whom.

Secret #4: False Differences

Magnet-to-Magnet vs. Magnet-to-Metal. Individual Channel Bars vs. Attached Channels Bars. Some people make a big deal out of these pop up differences. They go to great lengths describing the benefits of one vs. the other. In reality, it doesn’t really matter. They are just differences -- and not a question of better or worse.

What matters is quality. Are the channel bars made of plastic or metal? Are they difficult to install or straightforward and uncomplicated? Are they made for light duty use or for holding shelves, monitors, signs, and waterfall brackets? These are the questions you need to ask.

Secret #5: Online or In Person

How do you find your perfect match? Are you a member of Match.com or eHarmony or do you meet potential mates at work, at church, or through friends? At some point, you’ll go on a date and decide whether it’s a perfect match. Or you’ll discover that your date picks his/her teeth with the steak knife and talks non-stop about Master Rambo, the adorable Chihuahua they have at home.

Finding a pop up is no different. You do your research. And then you meet. If a pop up likes what it sees, it will cooperate. It will amaze and charm you, and you’ll fall in love with the frame, the packaging, and the case. If you choose to meet online, make sure you have an escape plan just in case the first date doesn’t go well. You don’t want to end up with an Eastern European mail-order companion based on a photo and a few emails. Sometimes those relationships last, but more often than not you end up with a hairy shot-put champion that you can’t return to Bulgaria.


We hope by revealing these secrets that you will have a better understanding of the personality and the plight of the average pop up. The tips and secrets are there to guide in making the right decision. In general, life is good for a pop up. Most owners take good care of us, update our graphics every season or two, and give us a chance to expose ourselves once in awhile. In the big scheme of things, that’s all a pop up display really wants.

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For more information about trade show or event marketing, give us a call or Contact Us. We welcome the opportunity to assist you with your next event.

Article Author:

Mel White, CEI

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