Trade Show TalesBlog

Posts Tagged ‘LED Lightboxes’

Utilizing a Fabric Lightbox for Your Trade Show Display

April 12th, 2022 COMMENTS
Fabric Lightbox
Custom Inline Lightbox with SEG Fabric Graphics

LED Fabric Lightboxes, in an array of shapes and sizes, are the single biggest change to post-pandemic trade shows, events, and signage. They’re EVERYWHERE! And it makes sense. Lightbox Exhibits are cost-effective, easy to assemble and install, and mesmerizing. So, what happened in the past 2-3 years that led to the proliferation of fabric lightboxes? Three things basically: Cost, Convenience, and Comfort. 

What is a Fabric Lightbox?

Before we explore these three “C’s,” let’s define and describe what we mean by LED Fabric Lightboxes, starting the fabric. Over the past 10 years, silicone edge graphics have become the large format graphic for trade show displays. These are dye-sublimated or direct print graphics on fabric with a silicone welting sewn to the perimeter. The silicone welting is folded under the fabric and inserted into a channel along the edge of an aluminum or plastic frame. Because SEG graphics hug the outside channel of the frame (in most cases), it minimizes the appearance of the frame, thereby maximizing the overall graphic impact. In short, more graphics with less frame.  

When those graphics are backlit, there’s, even more, WOW! with brighter, more vivid colors. The attached LED lights can backlight one- or two-sided graphics as back walls, towers, headers, and even storage closets. 

The 3 C’s of Fabric Lightboxes

Cost: Backlighting has always been expensive and complicated. It required fragile fluorescent tubes, a graphic printed on translucent material, and a dedicated frame or enclosure. LED lights changed all that. They’re inexpensive (especially over time), durable, and available in a variety of temperatures/warmth and colors. The additional cost whether it’s for a large tower in an island exhibit or a backlit ad in an airport is both affordable and worth the increased visibility. 

Convenience: Most LED lights are rated between 35,000 to 50,000 hours. Compare that to 750-2000 hours for incandescent lights and 24,000 to 36,000 for fluorescent bulbs. LED modules are easy to mount to frames or reflective surfaces and come in a wide array of sizes.  

Comfortable:  Both exhibit builders and ad agencies are well-versed in how to design graphics and structures to maximize the impact of backlighting.  Wading through the electrical requirements no longer requires an electrical engineering degree. Just some practical experience working LED components and some friendly advice from an electrician on larger jobs. 

6 Fabric Lightbox Examples by Classic Exhibits

Many fabric lightboxes are squares and rectangles consisting of a frame, graphic, LED lights, and a base or feet. But there can be so much more. The examples below are lightboxes with monitors and shelves as inlines, islands, and kiosks. There’s even a hexagon wall-mounted version for a lobby. 

VK-1977 | 10 x 10 – SuperNova Lightbox frames have two distinct advantages: strength and lightweight. The engineered aluminum construction means they can ship in a portable case but are strong enough to hold a large monitor.

10 ft. Inline Trade Show Lightbox with Monitor Mount

VK-4030 | 10 x 20 – Bigger is better when it comes to a lightbox. The custom VK-4030 features nearly 20 ft. of backlit graphics, along with a large monitor mount, charging table, and tablet kiosks. 

Large Inline Lightbox with Tablet Kiosks

GK-5152 | 20 x 20 – Island exhibits offer maximum impact on the show floor, and an island with (3) 15 ft. high double-sided lightboxes can’t be ignored. Available for purchase and rental. 

Island Exhibit with 15 ft. High Lightboxes

RE-2053 | 10 x 20 – Many exhibitors would rather rent than purchase a trade show display. The RE-2053 inline rental features three large backlit graphics on the back wall and two backlit counts with locking storage. 

Rental Inline Exhibit with Large Fabric Lightboxes

MOD-1618D | Product Kiosk – This free-standing double-sided lightbox combines backlit graphics with shelving. The shelves can be adjusted or removed depending on the product requirements. 

Lightbox Kiosk with Product Shelves

SLBW-9595 | Wall-mounted Lightbox – Lobbies, conference rooms, or hallways are perfect for an LED lightbox. The SuperNova Wall Frames can be cut to any size, and the vibrant fabric graphics are cost-effective and easy to replace whenever the seasons change or it’s time to promote an event.

Logo Designed with Wall-Mounted LED Fabric Lightbox

9 Factors to Consider When Purchasing an LED Lightbox Display 

#1. Hardness and Durability: Most LED Lightboxes start with an SEG aluminum frame. Every manufacturer engineers their frames using aluminum of varying hardness and durability. Less expensive lightboxes use softer aluminum because it’s cheaper. But cheaper aluminum scratches easily and tarnishes quickly. In addition, the wall thickness is often so thin that structural rigidity is compromised. For lightboxes mounted to a wall or assembled or disassembled at multiple trade shows, you will want aluminum with a 6063 specification. 6063 has better structural integrity and is scratch resistant. 

#2. Availability: Does the manufacturer have the extrusion, LED lights, hardware, and accessories in stock? And are there extrusion options depending on the situation, such as one-sided vs two-sided, freestanding vs. wall mount. What if you need multiple quantities or quick ship options? Can individual parts be purchased if they are lost or damaged? You don’t want a manufacturer who just dabbles in lightboxes.

#3. Customization: Let’s say you need a specific width or height. Is it possible? If so, how complicated or expensive does it get? How about angles or shapes such as a hexagon? It’s easy to do squares and rectangles (for most manufacturers), but odd shapes and sizes are often a head-scratcher for those who only want pre-configured kits.

#4. Print Quality: Asking the right questions about printing is important: 

  • Dye-sublimation printing is the best. This ensures the colors are infused into the fabric, not just printed on the surface. Many suppliers brag about “fabric printing” but it’s not always dye-sublimation, which requires two steps  — printing to a paper material and then heat fusing the image to fabric. 
  • Ask about the age of the printing equipment. The dye-sublimation printer shouldn’t be more than two years old. Anything older than that means the print resolution is just OK, not photographic.
  • Just like clothing, the fabric quality can vary, which may not matter if the graphic is a throwaway and the resolution doesn’t matter.  


#5. Sewing and Sizing: Experienced manufacturers have this down to a science. They’ve done the calculations thousands of times with varying fabrics, and they know how to print, cut, and sew the fabric so it fits perfectly. Not too loose. Not too tight. Nothing is more frustrating than receiving a fabric graphic that doesn’t fit.

fabric lightbox

#6. LED Lights: Understanding the various color temperatures, lens, UL and ETL certification, module construction, etc. requires some research and patience. Like fabric, there are multiple ways to make LED lights cheaper, if cheaper is the only criteria. Skipping UL/ETL certification is one shortcut. Using exposed connections or alligator clips is another. Sadly, it’s nearly impossible to know what you are getting before you get the LED lightbox. However, in this case, the old adage rarely fails, “If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is.” 

#7. Accessories: Most LED lightboxes are a one-trick pony. They are lightboxes.  That’s it. But what if you want to add shelves, an iPad, a literature holder, wings, or headers? What if you want to connect it to other lightboxes or create a full inline or island display. That requires an exhibit builder who has engineered the extrusion to be multi-functional, stocks lightbox accessories and has the in-house talent to customize. 

#8. Packaging: It’s easy to assume that your display will ship in high-quality cases and packaging. Sadly, that’s rarely true. Most manufacturers use disposable one-way shipping materials. Your lightbox arrives undamaged. Now you have to ship it to the next show or to another location, but there’s nothing to protect it or keep it organized. Insist on reusable shipping materials, which precludes cardboard, shrink wrap, and thin foam. All three will be destroyed after one use. See examples. While you may have to pay a little more, it’s an investment that keeps giving show after show, assembly after assembly. 

#9. Assembly:  It’s easy to overlook how the lightbox will be assembled but that would be a HUGE MISTAKE. Some require tools and a bag of loose parts. Others have push-button connectors. Others are “mostly” tool-less, but the hardware is cumbersome and/or unnecessarily complicated. Ask to see the instructions or an assembly video. Even if you aren’t planning to assemble it, could you put it together based on the instructions in a reasonable amount of time? Remember, time is money, especially on the show floor. No one wants surprises at a trade show, and a well-designed lightbox won’t make you sweat, literally or figuratively. Do the research and trust your gut.

10 x 20 Custom Exhibit with Lightboxes and Backlit Logos

Rent or Buy a Fabric Lightbox or Backlit Lightbox

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producer and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builder multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. We offer hundreds of lightbox solutions for both purchase and rental for trade shows, events, and environments. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative close by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a rental display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees or a lightbox with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better.

Trade Show Displays and LED Lighting

January 31st, 2022 COMMENTS
Symphony Portable Display with LED Lightbox
Symphony Portable Display with an LED Lightbox

As trade shows resume, we’re seeing a massive increase in LED lighting. And not just lightboxes, but perimeter lights, backlit logos, programmable RGB lighting, accent LEDS on counters, workstations, and kiosks. Even creative uses of ceiling and pendant lights. To some extent, it makes sense. Its not much more expensive, and your labor costs are about the same. Easily 75% of the purchase and rental orders flowing through our shop have LED lighting.

For Example

We are currently staging a 60 x 40 Island Rental with (8) 10 ft. high lightboxes and (2) 4 ft. high lightboxes (= 1,824 SuperNova LED Lights).

Consider mixing Symphony Portable Displays with SuperNova Lightboxes for an additional visual POP. You’ll get the same portability and tool-less construction, along with the vertical and horizontal dimensionality. In short, we want you to experiment with lighting and Classic Designs to amp up your sales, generate sparks, and outshine your competitors.

SYK-2029 w/ Two LED Lightboxes

Backlit Symphony Portable Display

SYK-2027 w/ One Large LED Lightbox

Backlit Symphony Portable Display

SYK-2028 w/ One Rectangle LED Lightbox

Backlit Symphony Portable Display

Your Partner for All Things Trade Show

Classic Exhibits has been designing and building solutions since 1993. We’ve been honored as an Exhibitor Magazine Find-It Top 40 Exhibit Producers and an Event Marketer Fab 50 Exhibit Builders multiple times. Along with numerous Portable Modular Awards. 

With over 200 Distributor Partners throughout North America, there’s a Classic representative closer by. Contact us today whether you need a durable hand sanitizer stand built to last, a rental display guaranteed to attract trade show attendees, or a custom 30 x 40 exhibit with all the bells and whistles. We’re not just different. We’re better. 

Bigger, Bolder, and Brighter Rental Exhibit Designs

November 19th, 2021 COMMENTS
Trade Show Rental Exhibits

If you had to pick a post-COVID design trend, would you have picked rental exhibits with lightboxes? Probably, but would you have guessed that nearly 80% of our island and inline rental orders have lightboxes?

It Kinda Makes Sense

First, lightboxes aren’t much more expensive than non-backlit solutions. Secondly, our rental inventory is deep in SuperNova and Gravitee frames. These two systems connect seamlessly and assemble without tools. As a result, their competitive prices, design flexibility, and ease-of-use makes them popular choices for designers and exhibitors. 

This week, we feature three new Rental Lightbox Designs — (2) 10 x 20’s and (1) 10 x 30.

  • RE-2123 uses a massive lightbox as a backdrop for three monitor kiosks. Along with two counters with backlighting
  • RE-2124 is a series of connected lightboxes in a step-pattern. “Stepping” is increasingly popular since it adds visual depth and a creative use of space
  • RE-3008 is a 10 x 30. We’re seeing more requests for 30 ft. inlines as an alternative to islands. This design is amazing “as is” or as a starting point for customization.

RE-2123 — Large LED Lightbox

Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2123 Inline Lightbox

Description: Unique products deserve unique exhibit designs. And the RE-2123 doesn’t disappoint. The large SuperNova lightbox with SEG fabric graphics is the perfect backdrop for the three monitor stands. The left, right, and center lightboxes create an immersive environment that compliments the overall theme without distracting from the core focus — the monitor demo stations.

The 20 ft. inline also includes two stunning backlit reception counters with locking storage. The booth assembles quickly and packs flat in a crate for convenient shipping.  

RE-2124 — Lightbox Step Design

Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-2124 Inline Lightbox

Description: The stepping creates visual depth and interest while allowing an exhibitor to tell a compelling story through a sequenced graphic presentation. The design includes ample room for a casual meeting space (which can be a challenge in an inline) and the charging table with LED accent lights creates a casual yet business-like setting. The RE-1567 reception counter has attractive backlit graphics and locking storage.

Lights combined with colorful graphics may be the single-most important key to attracting attention on the trade show floor. The RE-2124 turns the table on traditional lightbox designs by “stepping” (5) 4 ft. x 8 ft. individual lightboxes.

RE-3008 — Meeting Space w/ Lightboxes

Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox
Rental Exhibit | RE-3008 Inline Lightbox

Description: Versatile 10 x 30 inlines are increasingly becoming an attractive alternative to an island exhibit. The RE-3008 offers ample space for demos and meetings in a booth that’s built for maximum branding and constructive conversations with attendees.

It includes three large lightboxes with SEG fabric graphics with a double-sided lightbox closest to the aisle. There’s also a semi-private meeting area that includes a charging coffee table with LED accent lights and countertop branding. Bookending the meeting space are two genius bars for additional seating. 

Let us know if there are rental design ideas you want to explore.

PP (Post Pandemic) Trade Show Design Trends

May 12th, 2021 COMMENTS

Last summer, we “predicted” (5) post-pandemic display trends (based on hunches, educated guesses, and a six pack of PBR tall boys). So… how well did we do?

What We’re Seeing:

  1. Graphics – Not surprising. Mostly for smaller displays; however we anticipate larger graphic orders in Q3 & Q4 as exhibitors dust-off their storage properties.  
  2. Portables – We expected the new Symphony Portable System to do well. However not this well. What’s even more shocking… it’s being driven by end-users who specifically ask for Symphony.
  3. Rentals – We predicted far more inline than island requests. We’re seeing more islands than inlines. Very encouraging!
  4. Custom Modular (and Lightboxes) – The eager beaver exhibitors are driving this. Since shows are still evolving, exhibitors are forced to be flexible. As a result, we’re seeing a significant interest in Gravitee Modular Wall designs and SuperNova Lightboxes (both tool-less and modular).
  5. Pandemic – It would end by September 2020. 😉

Well, #5 was a swing and a miss. And #3 is very encouraging. All the others are spot on!

I asked Edie Arambula, Classic’s Customer Service Manager, and Jim Shelman, GM Classic Rental Solutions, to share what Classic Distributors have requested over the past two weeks. We thought you might find the trends interesting.

Symphony Portable Displays

Custom Modular (and Lightboxes)

Rental Islands

Rental Inlines

Are you seeing any other trends?  If so, let us know so we can share with our sales, project management, and design teams.

–Mel White
mel@classicexhibits.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/melmwhite
https://twitter.com/melmwhite

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Classic Exhibits Inc. designs and manufacturers portable, modular, and custom-hybrid exhibit solutions. Classic Exhibits products are represented by an extensive distributor network in North America and in select International markets. For more information, contact us at 866-652-2100 or www.classicexhibits.com.

Virtual Exhibits, Together Again Expo, and ClassicMODUL Extrusions | August 2020 Newsletter

August 24th, 2020 COMMENTS

Virtual Virtual Virtual 

Virtual Exhibits and Displays

It’s new. It’s confusing. It’s a little scary. But no one expects you to be an expert on virtual exhibits. You do, however, need to understand the basics. Let us help. 

  1. Last Tuesday, Kevin and Katina covered virtual exhibits in a detailed webinar. If you were unable to attend the live event, here’s the recorded version.
  2. We’ve added three virtual exhibit examples to Exhibit Design Search. Explore one inline and two islands. Then share them with clients who are anxious about the virtual exhibit they desperately need for their fall shows. 
  3. Every day we present virtual exhibits to distributors and their clients. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Don’t go it alone. We know the questions to ask and the answers to your client’s concerns. Invite us to participate in those calls and presentations. 

 Even if the pandemic subsides in two or three months, virtual exhibits, virtual trade shows, and hybrid events are now a permanent tool in the event and trade show toolbox. Capiche?

Together Again Expo

Together Again Expo

By now, you know that TAE was held in Orlando and that it went well. No surprises. No drama. Kevin, Katina, and Jen attended on behalf of Classic Exhibits. For those who were unable to attend in-person, here’s the recorded session

In addition, Kevin was interviewed by both Marlys Arnold and Tim Patterson on their vlogs about his TAE experience:  

What’s Selling?

Safety Dividers and Barriers

“So what’s selling?” We hear that question a lot.  

  1. Safety Dividers. Most are customized solutions for offices, schools, banks, government buildings, and medical facilities.
  2. Cubicle Height Extenders. We receive requests and orders nearly every day in all three colors: silver, black, and white. 
  3. Hand Sanitizer Stands and Dispensers. The crazy “gotta have 20 right now” is over. Customers now order one and two, especially the MOD-9004 and MOD-9009 versions.
  4. LED Lightboxes and SEG Frames. Not for trade shows, but for corporate and retail environments. Mostly wall-mounted frames. 
  5. Virtual Exhibits. This shouldn’t surprise you as exhibitors adapt to virtual trade shows in Q3 and Q4. 
  6. Exhibit Design. Not every exhibitor is sitting on their hands. Many are anticipating a return to live trade shows and asking for designs. They want to finalize their design, even if they wait to order until later in the year.

A Not-So-Hidden Website

ClassicMODUL Aluminum Extrusions for Safety Dividers

You ask us about aluminum extrusions ALL THE TIME. Like shapes, sizes, compatible accessories, and if the .dxf file of a specific extrusion is available to download.  We’re happy to provide you with that information but, we would be lying if we didn’t sigh a little when you ask. Why? Because it’s available online.  Many Classic distributors have never visited www.classicmodul.com which has been active since 2005. It’s time to correct that. Here’s what you’ll find there: 

  • Profiles like Squares, Rounds, and Rectangles
  • SEG, Lightbox, and Gravitee Profiles
  • Photos and Dimension Drawings
  • .DXF files
  • Accessories
  • Notes
  • Online Digital Catalog (PDF) 

Two examples: the Z 45 and S 40 are pretty common extrusions for safety dividers.  Do we still want you to call us when you have an extrusion question? Absolutely! After all, the CM website doesn’t have pricing, availability or lead times. But, if you just need to see your options or download a CAD file, then head to the ClassicMODUL website first

An Introduction to Virtual Exhibits