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More from EXHIBITOR2013 | Portables, Modulars, Hybrids — Oh My!

No word is more hyped and less understood at this moment in the exhibit industry than “hybrid.” Most who work in the exhibit industry have heard this term, and it’s going viral with the end users, the exhibitors. But what is a hybrid display? We turn to Tradeshows And Displays’ president Jim Noon for the answers.

Q: What is a hybrid?

A: “It’s simply a combination of two or more types of displays in a single booth environment. An example would be a portable pop-up display wall with an illuminated fabric pillar, which is a modular.”

Q: Is this something new?

A: “No, it’s been going on for several years, but it’s more prevalent now. It’s been evolving.”

Q: So why doesn’t it look like a hodgepodge?

A: “The emphasis is on design, so that graphic elements of the different displays are coordinated to create one larger environment.”

Q: What’s the appeal of a hybrid?

A: “Hybrids are the best of both worlds. You have cost-effective and user-friendly aspects of portables, combined with the dramatic visual impact of the modular. Also, an exhibitor can rent a really eye-grabbing modular display for a reasonable price and add some of their own portables to it, making a better visual impact at the expo.”

Q: What’s so eye-catching about it?

A: “The scale for one thing, then throw in some internal lighting — a 16-foot-tall glowing fabric monolith is pretty dramatic!”

Q: Agreed! What sort of exhibitor would get the most out of this approach?

A: “Someone who wants one solution for a variety of booth spaces – 10×10, 10×20, 20×20, on up. Someone who wants something a little different, but doesn’t want to hire a crew of workers for installation and dismantle [I&D]. Someone who is budget conscious but looking for something bigger and with more emphasis on design. “

Aluminum extrusions of DeltaFabric modular display.


Portable display users who used to be able to send their displays via air — and even check them on the plane — are switching to Ground and freight options due to the ever-changing TSA restrictions. Custom display users who hired countless throngs of workers for I&D over the years are turning to tool-less assembly options. Hybrids satisfy all of these needs.

Many new exhibit systems call themselves “hybrids.” Generally, here are characteristics of a hybrid:

1) They tend to have aluminum extrusion and tension fabric as the building blocks

2) They can be combinations of portable, modular and custom elements

3) They provide good overall value

4) They are adaptable and can be reconfigured to fit in different sized booth spaces

5) They manage to look custom while maintaining easier assembly and lighter shipping profiles


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