The 8 Quick Tips to Know Before Buying Pop Up Displays

Pop up displays have revolutionized the trade show display industry for over 30 years!  Who knew that by playing with peas and tooth picks Ted Zeigler would stumble upon the pop up display and completely change the trade show industry forever.  Maybe I should get out the peas and toothpicks……

Who hasn’t seen a pop up display? They are literally everywhere at trade shows and conventions across the world!  So, when it’s time to buy one, where do you start? On the Internet? Do you go into a showroom and demo them in person?

Here are some quick and easy tips to take into consideration when purchasing your display frame.  Because let’s face it, you can buy a full fabric pop up display unit for under $500 somewhere on the Internet, but do you really want to? How long do you think it will last and there will be many more parts and pieces to keep up with for setup and take down?

  • Curved or flat? Both shapes look good. A curved frame will offer more room for graphics and because of the curve shape is a little more stable than a flat wall frame.  For these reasons they are more popular.  That’s not to say that flat wall displays aren’t great systems- they are and they work great for lots of people.  Choose what will work best for your company!curved-pop-up-tradeshow-display
  • Self or Manual Locking Frame? My vote is self locking – fewer pieces mean less opportunity to break.  Not to mention a quicker set up and tear down time! Who doesn’t love that? You’ll have time to enjoy your coffee before the show with all the time you have saved!
self-locking-tradeshow-display-frame manual-locking-tradeshow-display-frame
  • Ribbed or Smooth Fabric? Yes it gets this detailed, and believe me, if you are using Velcro graphics you will want to pay attention.  Both fabrics are considered “Velcro friendly” but what happens when you pull Velcro continually from a smooth surface?  It’s going to start to pull and fray over time.  For a display that looks new for a longer period of time, choose a ribbed fabric.


  • Frame Construction- Aluminum vs. plastic.  My bet is aluminum is going to win the strength contest 100% of the time.  If you want your display to last for any significant amount of time be sure your frame is constructed of aluminum.  Nomadic Display frames are made from aircraft grade drawn aluminum.  You can see and feel the difference!
  • Connections- Not only should you have an aluminum frame, but check out the connection points on a pop up frame. There are plastic to plastic, metal to plastic and metal to metal connections on many of the different available frames.  Personally I want my display to last so I’m going with the metal to metal connection.


  • Warranty- Some companies don’t know what the term warranty means!  We stand behind our pop up frames 100% LIFETIME WARRANTY-NO QUESTIONS ASKED!  Doubt it?  How can we prove it?  We will provide it to you in writing with no SMALL print to add in conditions for warranty like other companies do.
    • Field repairable or not? This has been quite the argument for some time.  My question is-do I want to buy a product that advertises field repairable or a product that has a proven record of less than .01% returns on the lifetime of this product?  Nomadic Display has proven, time and time again, they make the strongest display available in our industry.

    You will probably run into these industry terms when looking at pop up displays.


    2×2 = 6’W Table Top display
    3×2 = 8’W Table Top Display
    3×3 = 8’W x 8’H Display

    4×3 = 10’W x 8’H Display- There is no 4×3 flat wall display. The 8’ display can be purchased with wide end caps to convert the 8’ W display into a 10’W display-.  *Tip:  If your frame does not offer or is missing some of the X sub assembly cross bars, it will also compromise the overall strength and durability.

    These are the most common sizes of pop up trade show displays.  Frames can be made that are 20’W but are often two 10’ frames, so you have more configuration options.   Remember that all displays are not created equal! Just like in clothing, one size DOES NOT fit all people!  Generally speaking, the cheaper pop up displays that come in from overseas are smaller than a standard frame and are more “C” shaped to take up more space in the booth space.

    Nomadic Display is unique in that the table top pop up displays when placed on a table) match the height of a freestanding display.  This gives you the advantage of not loosing valuable real estate at the top of your booth.


    • Integration- Do you plan on growing your company? Is that a silly question? Of course you want to grow, generate more customers, make more money!  Why else would you be exhibiting at a trade show or event?  Consider the investment. We know that’s what it is-an investment that you are making in your trade show display purchase.  If you have plans to grow, be sure to choose a display that will grow with you.  Nomadic Display offers seamless integration and customization that no other company can offer.  You don’t have to start here, but look where you, and your pop-up display, can end up.

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