The most common fabric used for exhibit booth drapery is Banjo Cloth. It is lightweight, durable, permanently flame retardant, and relatively inexpensive. For these reasons, it is used in Convention Centers throughout the country, usually in a neutral color such as black or blue.
However, more and more exhibitors are looking for ways to make their booths “stand out from the crowd,” and one of the easiest ways to do that is to bring their own drapery to the show.
There are a number of different drapery options available to exhibitors. The easiest option is to purchase your own Banjo Cloth drapery panels in a different color than that offered by the Convention Center, perhaps a color that coordinates with your company logo.
Better yet, take it a step further and purchase traditional exhibit drapery but in a different fabric. Traditional exhibit drapery panels are manufactured using a single width of fabric (generally 4′ to 5′ wide, but occasionally up to 9′ wide, depending on the fabric selected), with a pipe pocket sewn on the top. Panels are sewn flat (unpleated) and are “pushed together” on the drape support to create “natural” pleating.
With traditional exhibit drapery, it is a simple matter to substitute the drapery at the show. Simply unhook the drape support from the uprights, slide off the Convention Center’s Drapes, slide on your own drapes, and hook the drape support back on the uprights.
These traditional exhibit drapes can be made from a wide variety of fabrics, depending on the desired look. One option is to use a synthetic velour/velvet, such as DFR 15oz Encore or PFR 8oz Super-Vel. These offer a rich “theatrical” appearance and are available in a variety of colors. They are also durable and can be cleaned without losing the flame retardant properties. As a matter of fact, Rent What? includes both fabrics in their Pipe & Base Drapery inventory and have recently posted some terrific photos on Flickr. If the look of velour isn’t quite what you are looking for, single-width panels can also be made many different types of fabrics, from RB Cloth to Satin to Voile, and much more. The sky’s the limit!
If you want a highly customized look, however, consider moving past the traditional single-width panel to a custom drape manufactured to size. With custom drapery, not only do you have a wide selection of fabric choices, but you can also choose to have a single (wider) drape for each booth “wall,” you can choose to have the drape pleated, you can even choose a different top finish, such as Hidden Sewn Ties, to give that extra polish to your booth.
As you can see, there are numerous drapery options available that allow you to personalize your exhibit booth and make it stand out in the crowd – options for just about every budget and style. So consider going “Beyond Banjo Cloth” for your next show!