Building the Taj MaHAUL, Part I

After attending a few conventions this year pushing, one thing I’ve noticed is how poor “portable” displays can look next to mailed “moneybag” displays appear. The question becomes, when you take in just enough cash in advertising and t-shirts to pay for hosting (and have enough pro bono work to keep a website looking fairly professional), how can you compete without pawning you laptop or going into debt?

A few months back after seeing these huge displays, I remembered seeing a single, six-foot-plus tall and roughly two-foot wide banner that looked simple enough. Put three of these side-by-side and you can easily create a beautiful, eye-catching display to fill an eight-foot space or background a table setting. Of everywhere I looked in town and online, this large Econom-X Banner Stand was the cheapest at just under $150.00, banner and carry case included but not shipping or taxes. Some of the most expensive in this line, including “retractable” designs for easy setup, ranged $350 to over $1000… each.

If you’ve ever seen footage from E3, any trade show, or been to any game convention, you can always tell where the money is (and hopefully what’s cool) by those professional displays. Taking a chance, however, I located a slightly better display stand (30-inches by 71-inches) on Amazon for about $35 and fixed shipping at $6, but no banner included. Enter Vista Print, who will make you a full-color Vinyl banner at 30-inches by 71-inches for only $35 plus tax and shipping.

There’s a little assembly required but nothing too difficult. Once assembled, the display looked every bit as professional as I’d hoped, was half the price, and took only a week for all the pieces to arrive. Next to the banner, however, the rest of my table display looks a bit weak in comparison, so I started taking measurements for a future banner to drape across the table.

And that’s when someone close to me said, “Always trying to build the Taj Mahal.”

And why not, right?

3 thoughts on “Building the Taj MaHAUL, Part I

  1. For the record, that statement was followed with: “Knock yourself out.” I just find it amusing that you never do anything small or halfway, even in an environment where the neighbors around you don’t look half as spiffy as your area does. However, that’s not a complaint. I suppose at Gencon it might have been an issue, but your only “cool area” competition at the last con was the t-shirt booth. I didn’t think it called for design panic, but since it benefits your table mate in the long run, I stand by the initial “go for it” sentiment expressed above. 😉

  2. Will do! In fact, I’ve started breaking the whole thing down officially into “The Taj Mahal Project” so I can make notes now (for what I want to do later) while those ideas are fresh in my head. I also need to rethink some of the videos I want to do to do double-duty… more on that side trek later.

  3. *sings* “Tangentman, Tangentman….”

    I can see it now: there will come a day when the table and banners will look so prime, I will be inspired to remove my shoes and genuflect before taking my seat. 😉 I shall officially look forward to it (the set up, not the shoes and kneeling thing) as I am sure it will be the talk of any con.

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