The demand for lightweight, portable exhibits is on the rise. As far as the products themselves are concerned, powder coating and vinyl wrapping are becoming more popular. Anodizing, another trend we are seeing, increases corrosion resistance and wear resistance and provides better adhesion for paint primers and glues than bare metal.
More and more fabric applications are being seen in both tradeshows and permanent exhibit installations. In addition, clients are requesting designs that allow for multi-purposing of an exhibit where it can be used on the show floor and then in a corporate or retail setting. They want to see their “display investment” function 365 days of the year, not just three or four times at tradeshows.
Designers want curves, but not all extrusion suppliers have had the capability to bend metal. More suppliers are adding this option on many profiles, thereby blurring the difference between what can be achieved with wood construction vs. metal construction. Rentals have become almost exclusively extrusion based. It just makes sense.
Aluminum is durable, versatile and cost-effective. Gone are the days where show contractors offered battered, ugly aluminum extrusion displays. Now many display distributors and manufacturers offer designs that can be tailored to the client’s needs and that appear not only new, but custom.
Aside from the obvious popularity of extrusions designed for printed fabric, there are no significant trends in the design of aluminum profiles. The fact that they are larger and more architectural is a trend we have seen for several years, but the real trend is the increased interest in custom rentals.