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All About Retractable or "Pull-Up" Banner Stands & Displays

Retractable or "Pull-Up" banner stands are becoming more and more popular in the world of marketing and trade show conferences. Retractable stands are basically banner stands that roll the printed graphics (either vinyl or fabric) into a base. The base acts as a protective storage unit for the graphic. Once the base is set on the floor or table top, the graphic is pulled or unrolled out of the base and affixed to a telescopic or fixed pole that supports it vertically.  Attach the graphic clamp bar to the top of the pole and you have an almost instant professional trade show display!

Retractable Banner Stand Base 243

Typical Retractable Banner
Stand Base. Many come in silver or black options

Elevate Retractable Banner Stand Full View
Elevate Retractable Banner Stand
Elevate Retractable Banner Stand Art

Just pull the graphic out of the stand and affix to top clamp bar. Graphics normally "pinch" in or are held by a velcro hook-and-loop system

There are many reasons these types of banner stands are becoming a staple in the trade show and conference industry:

They're Affordable

Retractable banner stands vary in price based on many features, but the best part is (compared to many other types of trade show displays,) they're relatively affordable.  Prices normally range from only $40 to $50 for a "no-frills" retractable, to only $200 to $300 for larger stands that come with additional options. Adding a graphic may set you back $50 to $60 for a smaller stand, and you can purchase even larger graphics in the $100 to $200 range for a super smooth vinyl material.

They're Convenient

One of the best features of retractable stands is how easy they are to transport, set-up, and take-down.  Most stands come with a carry/travel bag, and some stands offer padded or hard case features.Padded travel case for Retractable Banner Stands  But most stands, once placed in the travel bag or case, can be carried "over the shoulder" to your show.  They can be transported via plane, but storing retractables with luggage is not recommended, unless you have a hard case. (Check your airline's policy regarding carry-on size limits.) Checking-in a retractable with luggage can lead to damage (if the stand is not stored in a hard case.)

Once you arrive at your conference or trade show, set-up is a breeze. Simply remove the stand from the travel bag, place the base on a flat surface (most stands are designed for floors, but also come in "table-top" models.) Place the pole in the base, pull the graphic out of the base, and affix the top clamp bar to the pole. Most set-up times are under a minute.
Taking down the stand is just as easy.  Once you detach the clamp bar from the vertical pole, most retractables "pull" the graphic back into the base using a spring mechanism. If you have an optional LED or Halogen light for your display, you can simply attach the light once the display is set-up.  Most travel bags have enough room for one to two optional lights.

With only one or two retractable stands, and maybe a custom table throw, you can literally have a professional trade show display set-up in only a few minutes.

Huge Range of Models / Sizes

Choosing which type of retractable banner stand can often be a daunting task. Hundreds of different types of models exist.  However, there are normally three basic decisions to consider when attempting to choose your display:

1) Price.  If you have a set budget, then price may play a major role in the type of stand you'll purchase.  As mentioned earlier, prices often range from as low as $40-$50 to into the hundreds of dollars.

2) Graphic Width Size.  If you have a particular width size you need for your graphic, this may also play a major consideration in your purchase.  The most common widths for retractable stands are in the 32" to 36" wide range; however, model widths can range from 23.5" to as wide as 60" (even wider for combination stands, where you can "line-up" several stands to create a back wall display.)

3) Graphic Height Size. Most retractables extend vertically to 70" to 80" and if your model features a telescopic pole, you have the ability to adjust the overall height of the graphic by a couple feet.  Some table top stands have shorter vertical spans. Our tallest model actually extends all the way to 122" tall!

Several types of features or options to consider when purchasing your retractable banner stand include:

What type of base do I need?

Do I need a telescopic pole, or will a static "bungee" pole suffice?

What type of clamp bar should I choose?

Which type of graphic is right for me?

Do I need a single or double sided stand?

What options are important?

Let's take a brief look at each of these options.

Different types of bases

Several types of bases exist that you may want to take into consideration.  The least expensive retractable stands normally will have the lightest and smallest bases.  And although the bases are designed to adequately support the display, you may wish to invest in a display that will come with a heavier base. Some bases come with one or two additional horizontal support stands, while the heavier bases often do not require horizontal support stands.

Econo Base

Base Example Econo Single Sided

Dragon Fly Base

Base Example Dragon Fly Double Sided

Silver Step Base 210

Base Example Silver Step
Single Sided

Telescopic vs. Bungee Static Pole

In general, two types of poles accompany your retractable stand: 1) Telescopic, and
2) Bungee. A telescopic pole gives you the ability to slightly adjust your height. The pole extends and then is tightened into place with a gripping mechanism. Telescopic poles can normally give you the ability to increase or decrease your graphic by 20" to 30" in height. Bungee cords are static. A bungee cord holds the two or three piece pole and you assemble the pole by connecting the pieces together.  So the height of your assembled pole will dictate the height of your graphic display.

Grip versus velcro clamp bar

Your graphics will normally attach to your clamp bar in two different ways. First, you may have a grip clamp bar that basically holds the top of your graphic. Simply slide the graphic into the grip and push the grip together for a tight fit.  The grip can be released if you should decide to change your graphics. The velcro clamp bar works the same way, only using velcro instead of a grip.  You can also easily change out graphics, but will need an additional custom cut piece of velcro for additional graphics.  Some models come with extra velcro strips.

Choice of graphic material

Several types of graphic materials exist for use with your retractable display. The most common or popular include vinyl and fabric.

Vinyl is by far the most popular choice.  We recommend a super smooth or light weight vinyl (under 13 oz) to use with your retractable. The graphics are usually very vibrant (depending, of course, on your artwork,) and the material is durable.  Some people, however, choose to use a fabric material. The fabric gives a different finish and is often the choice of photographers or marketers wishing to eliminate (as best as possible) ambient light glare.

Single vs. Double Sided?

Although this choice may seem obvious, many marketers overlook the fact that they could in many cases receive twice as much exposure with only one retractable banner stand. If your display is in an area where it can be viewed from both sides, consideration should be given to investing in a double sided retractable banner display.

Options to consider

There are really only a couple add-on options to consider for your display. First, will you be exhibiting in an area where you could benefit from additional lighting on your graphic? If so, you may be interested in purchasing one or two (depending on the width of your display) LED or Halogen trade show stand lights.  The lights are affordable and increase in price based on the type of light (halogen versus LED,) and the power or brightness of the light. The second option is your choice of purchasing a hard case (if available for your model) to protect your display during travel.  Some models of displays come with optional hard cases, while generic hard case displays also exist that fit many stands based on size.

What if my stand breaks, or what if I need to change or replace the graphics?

Unfortunately, things sometimes break. Often times the less expensive stands may be more fragile than heavier-duty displays.  Many suppliers offer replacement parts should you encounter a broken pole or piece. But if you need to disassemble the base of your stand for any reason, you may need a little patience to repair or change out the graphics.  We offer videos for many of our models showing how to disassemble and replace graphics for your stand. As an example, here is our Silver Step video page.

Please email us your comments or questions, or press "Live Chat" for immediate assistance. Thanks for reading!

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